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Old 11-10-2019, 08:31 PM   #1
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5.0TA options advice

We have purchased a 5.0TA and have a week or two to finish build sheet. Having owned a Casita and an Escape 19 we have a pretty good idea what we need in a camper but have come across a few options that we've never experienced. Looking for advice on a couple of specific options but also seeking input from 5.0TA owners on options you took but perhaps didn't need or those you didn't and wish you had. We are pretty much getting the unit fully loaded but my questions are:
1. We've never had an inverter and plan to get one . We are getting solar panel and dual 6v batteries. Should we get full unit 110v outlet option or single outlet option? Will prob only use for Keurig but also might want to use built in microwave or 110v TV. What did you do? Is the transfer switch manual or automatic?
2. Radio and speakers. I listen to music on iPhone almost exclusively. I have a great portable bluetooth speaker that I connect to. The radio they offer is pretty basic but apparently it has Bluetooth connectivity. How good does their stereo sound and is it worth $300 (US) they are asking?
3. The back-up camera. Is this a camera that you can use continuously while driving. Is it worth the $408 they are asking?
4. I've never had an outdoor shower. Is that something that I have missed in life?
5. Thinking about a second set of captains lamps over u-shaped dinette. Do I need them?
6. Last thing, we seldom go above Interstate 40 in the winter so is the under trailer insulation necessary?
Any comments you might have are appreciated.
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:44 PM   #2
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1. Get the full outlet option if you are getting an inverter.
2. I didn't get the radio, got the prewire but have to do anything with it. My phone or laptop and a blue tooth speaker are good for us.
3. Didn't get a backup camera, see no need as I can backup a trailer. Some folks like them, some don't.
4. Had an outdoor shower on our old trailer, tried it a couple times but it's just something I don't need so we didn't get it. FWIW, most folks have it and do use it.
5. We have the captain's lights at the dinette, mostly when a directed light is needed. My wife uses one to read and such when I'm still sleeping. I added a light mid way between the 2 sides of the table under the center cabinet at the window. I prefer that one as it casts no shadows, unlike the captain light and the one right over your head.
6. Necessary?, no. Helpful?, yes. Helps with A/C in the summer as well as provides a bit of sound deadening, as does the double pane windows and extra insulation, if that's still an option.
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:55 PM   #3
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I got the radio in my 19 and love it. Very good sound, and having it means I don’t have to pack or keep track of Bluetooth speakers. It’s there all the time, ready to go, and works off the battery and solar without any charging needed. 2 things I wish I had gotten but didn’t were the outside shower and captain lights in the corners above the dinette. Hope this helps!
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:59 PM   #4
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Insulation is good. Plans can change.

I run the backup camera continuously. Nice to see what is happening back there.

Think of the shower for muddy, sandy feet and footwear.

We enjoy the quality of sound from our radio. Might be hard to get signals inside...?
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ritacasita View Post
We have purchased a 5.0TA and have a week or two to finish build sheet. Having owned a Casita and an Escape 19 we have a pretty good idea what we need in a camper but have come across a few options that we've never experienced. Looking for advice on a couple of specific options but also seeking input from 5.0TA owners on options you took but perhaps didn't need or those you didn't and wish you had. We are pretty much getting the unit fully loaded but my questions are:
1. We've never had an inverter and plan to get one . We are getting solar panel and dual 6v batteries. Should we get full unit 110v outlet option or single outlet option? Will prob only use for Keurig but also might want to use built in microwave or 110v TV. What did you do? Is the transfer switch manual or automatic?
2. Radio and speakers. I listen to music on iPhone almost exclusively. I have a great portable bluetooth speaker that I connect to. The radio they offer is pretty basic but apparently it has Bluetooth connectivity. How good does their stereo sound and is it worth $300 (US) they are asking?
3. The back-up camera. Is this a camera that you can use continuously while driving. Is it worth the $408 they are asking?
4. I've never had an outdoor shower. Is that something that I have missed in life?
5. Thinking about a second set of captains lamps over u-shaped dinette. Do I need them?
6. Last thing, we seldom go above Interstate 40 in the winter so is the under trailer insulation necessary?
Any comments you might have are appreciated.

1) We have the full inverter option and have never used it
2) We did not get the factory radio , wish we had — Added radio as a owner installed mod
3) We have factory backup camera , it’s still in the box - never used
4) We have the factory outdoor shower , we use it occasionally — would get again
5) We have the captains lamps — wife likes them for reading & crotcheting
6) We have the factory under trailer insulation — keeps noise down but doesn’t help much in our area where we actually have cold weather . An Escape is basically a warm weather , one season trailer IMHO
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ritacasita View Post
Is the transfer switch manual or automatic?
The transfer switch is automatic. While it adds a bit of complexity, it's reliable; certainly it improves convenience of use. To me, the most unfortunate feature of the all-outlets installation is that it moves the circuit breakers for the inverter-supplied circuits to a separate box... which is buried under the dinette seat and not readily accessible or even visible.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:24 AM   #7
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We have the inverter with all outlets, it's very handy to be able to use the microwave occasionally. The incremental cost isn't great to have all outlets, and it seemed kind of a waste to have a big 1500 watt inverter only connected to one outlet. We added a 12 volt outlet at the TV connection and use a 12 volt TV rather than having to run the inverter for several hours to watch a movie - worth a few bucks to get an extra 12 volt outlet there so that you have that option. We have been very happy with the solar / dual 6 volt / inverter package, have always had plenty of capacity and it's really nice to watch the batteries charge back up every morning.

We got the radio option and the speakers have good sound quality. We don't use phones or other devices for music, though - if you are used to using your phone and bluetooth speakers that is probably still a good way to go.

We don't have the backup camera - have always used small FRS radios with my wife guiding me outside and that works well for us. Tow mirrors on the truck provide excellent visibility while driving.

We added captains lights to the dinette and I find them very helpful for reading, especially when my wife is still in bed and I want to keep light to a minimum.

We have the foam insulation under the trailer and like it. In addition to the extra insulation it provides a layer of protection from things bouncing up from the road. I especially like having the fresh water filler tube from the bottom of the tank up into the trailer both insulated and protected. When it's really hot, the foam likely keeps some of the heat from asphalt roads underneath from heating up the trailer.
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:36 AM   #8
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Just a note on the Keurig - some draw more than the 1500 watt inverter can comfortably supply. You might look into a Hotel/Motel version, which draws less than most models.

As to single vs all receptacles, I prefer the all version. You may want to add a microwave, and might get tired of moving the Keurig from plug to plug as you go from hookups to dry camping.

If you dry camp, you will find that the captain's lights use less current than the standard lights; useful when stretching battery life.
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:57 AM   #9
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The only thing I'll add is we purchased reading lamps for all four corners of our dinette and use them all the time. We do use the outside shower, but it's next to the entry door and we set a table underneath to wash dishes outside when camping in decent weather.

You might want to read my post on the u-shaped dinette.

Enjoy,

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Old 11-11-2019, 10:10 AM   #10
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You will get lots of opinions to maybe aid your decisions, but ultimately they need to be choices for your style of camping, as everyone has differing needs. Mine on your queries are;

1. I added the inverter to all plugs myself, and if I decided again to get one in another trailer I would definitely have Escape install it. That said, in hind sight I am not sure I would do it again. We don't have or need a microwave and would never use Keurig, especially in a trailer, but do use the inverter for a toaster, my hair cutters, wife's hair blower, and a couple other things, things that we really could do without. But, we have it now so will definitely use it some.

2. I had the stock radio and DVD player in my 19 and rarely used it. We chose nothing for our 5.0TA, and would not install one inside again either. We spend the vast majority of our time outside anyway. A good small bluetooth speaker works great for TV, adding to a portable radio and for streaming, playlists or stored music from our phones. This is the way to go IMO.

3. Personally, I have no need at all for a backup camera so doubt I would ever have one. No harm in it though if you want it. I have opted for lots of toys that others would not get too.

4. An outside shower on the passenger side at a height to use with a table is one of our most used options. We use a spout with it for cooking and cleaning. I would be hard pressed to use it as a shower though, even though I easily could.

5. For evening reading captains lights in the dinette might be nice, I have thought about adding them, but actually don't really need them.

6. I live well above the 40th, and did not get the underbelly insulation. In time I plan to add 2" of rigid where easily possible, just to help add warmth to the floor. I have no need to have it on the tanks as I really don't plan to use the trailer much below freezing and if I did would just carry water jugs inside and use RV antifreeze in the grey and black. I had to some work underneath which would have been impossible with the spray, and frankly I don't really like the look of it which is really a minor issue. If buying again, I would not have Escape spray it.
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:44 PM   #11
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one thing about the radio in the 5.0, if you hang up a tv there to watch from the U dinette, its nice to run a headphone TV plug into the aux jack and listen thru the speakers....
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:47 PM   #12
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one thing about the radio in the 5.0, if you hang up a tv there to watch from the U dinette, its nice to run a headphone TV plug into the aux jack and listen thru the speakers....
I can do that with my Bluetooth speaker too, 'cept no wires needed.
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Old 11-11-2019, 05:51 PM   #13
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I can do that with my Bluetooth speaker too, 'cept no wires needed.
True! I’ve got a BT speaker that I pair up in an older car for audiobooks. But for the OP I doubt any BT speaker sounds as good as the combo of speakers ETI puts in the trailer with the radio option....
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:14 PM   #14
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True! I’ve got a BT speaker that I pair up in an older car for audiobooks. But for the OP I doubt any BT speaker sounds as good as the combo of speakers ETI puts in the trailer with the radio option....
The speakers ETI installs are definitely good, and it's nice having them prewired in both the dinette and bedroom. One option, if you're not sure which way you want to go, would be to have them prewire for speakers but not install the speakers or the stereo (I'd get a 12 volt drop for ease of adding a stereo later if desired). The ETI speakers sound good, but the radio is not the most user-friendly design and it might be better to choose your own later if bluetooth speakers weren't working out for you, with the wiring in place it would be a cinch.

I don't have photos handy, but the speakers in the bedroom are mounted on the underside of the cabinets. They have fairly bulky magnets on the back, and to mount them they cut a hole in the cabinet floor and then add a bulky piece of 3/4" plywood on the inside of the cabinet floor to cover the hole and, I presume, serve as a solid mounting surface for the speaker screws. Not a big deal if you're just putting socks and shirts in those cabinets, but can be a bit clunky if you wanted to put any larger items up there.

All depends on how much you would be willing to do yourself later to get just the sound system you want. If "ready to use" is a more important factor, the ETI stereo and speakers, IMO, do sound just fine.
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:51 PM   #15
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True! I’ve got a BT speaker that I pair up in an older car for audiobooks. But for the OP I doubt any BT speaker sounds as good as the combo of speakers ETI puts in the trailer with the radio option....
You need to really check out some of the rally good Bluetooth speakers or there, like Sonos, UE or Bose, plus others. Some great sound you can take with you anywhere, especially outside.

I love that I can sit anywhere with my phone beside me and play many sources of great music with it as the control.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:23 PM   #16
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1. I agree with Jim (“You will get lots of opinions to maybe aid your decisions, but ultimately they need to be choices for your style of camping, as everyone has differing needs.”)

Having said that, here’s mine.

We just sold our Escape19. We had the full converter. Used it once to charge camera batteries. We are getting the single outlet converter in our new 5.0 TA.
For music we use a small Bose. It connects to our iphones and has great sound.
Love the backup camera. Had it in the 19 and ordered it in the new 5.0 TA
Ditto the outside shower. But we have a water, sand, beach loving dog. For us, it’s a necessity. If you don’t have kids or dogs maybe you don’t need one, but it also adds to resale value
We found the standard lighting way more than what we needed. Did not add any extra in the new 5.0 TA.
We opted for the under trailer insulation in the 19 and in the new 5.0TA. It seemed to help with noise as well as keeping the trailer cooler in hot weather and warmer in cool weather.
As always, YMVV
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:09 AM   #17
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In this, I assume that "converter" was supposed to be "inverter":
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We had the full converter. Used it once to charge camera batteries. We are getting the single outlet converter in our new 5.0 TA.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:24 AM   #18
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As other have said, your uses may be different, but here is what we have found fits us.

Inverter - We have the full inverter option and we do use it. We've used the outside outlet for a toaster and Instant Pot and inside outlets for computers, hair dryer, curling iron, TV, instant pot and toaster. Yes, would do again.

Radio - We did not get this option, we use a blue tooth speaker with our phones and TV. We are happy with this setup. On review of what Tford said “one thing about the radio in the 5.0, if you hang up a tv there to watch from the U dinette, its nice to run a headphone TV plug into the aux jack and listen thru the speakers” I would definitely consider this if ordering again.

Backup Camera – for us it is a rear view camera/mirror
Yes, it is on whenever the tow vehicle’s lights are on. I like to think that I "check" it when backing up. Like most others I use the outside mirrors for backing up. The camera's rear view is limited to at best a dozen car lengths. It makes changing lanes easier, when you can see the front end of the vehicle that is in either adjacent lane you know that you are in front of that vehicle.
I guess the value of the camera is dependent upon your driving style but it is of great value to me. I also have extended mirrors for towing but I would do the rear view camera again.

Outdoor Shower - We have one on the passenger side, it is used with a spigot for our outdoor dish washing station. Yes, we like this option.

Captains Lights - We do not have the captains lights over the dinette. Have no opinion, but we haven’t ever said we would want alternate lighting there. I know others use them, we seldom turn on the ones in the bed area. I would guess that if you now use the ones in your bed area or ever wished they were in the dinette that would be a yes for you. No we would not do.

Under Insulation - We have it, can’t really give you an opinion as we haven’t any experience without it.

Other options we have that might be of interest.

Counter Extension at the steps - Yes, would do again.

Lagun Table mount, very versatile and no pedestal to get in the way of your feet. Yes it is solid. We had ETI leave not mount the so we have no holes in our floor. They also cut all four corners of the table, this works well with the Lagun as it is never backwards. Yes, would do again.

We added two Counter Extensions in the u-shaped dinette - We are not in agreement on this item –
Colleen likes the counter extension as she works with a computer that is set up on the dinette and she uses the extension for her tea etc.
I dislike it, it rubs on the back cushion if you use pool noodles, it is in my way even when folded down. So, yes we would do one and no we would not do two. That said I don’t think I would get away removing one, time will tell (happy wife, happy life).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Dish Washing Station and Colleen.jpg (194.6 KB, 33 views)
File Type: jpg Counter Extension at steps with Ronn.jpg (135.7 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg Emmett's Extended Outside Mirror.jpg (161.7 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg Colleen working in SS.jpg (154.8 KB, 32 views)
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:21 PM   #19
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Good questions. We purchased and picked up our 5.0 in March 2019.
Inverter. We use full and please with option. You just need to be aware of appliance usage as they drain batteries quickly .
Radio- probably our only disappointment. Very low-end and cheap. I am going to replace
Rear camera- love it. No so much for backing-up but love the rear view mirror effect when traveling down the highway. Rear Speaker is good too when backing into site. I can hear my wife yelling at me :-)
Outdoor shower. - we use for our dog to wash off sand and dirt. Have used to rinse things off without adding to gray tank.
Captain lights. Use all the time for reading at Ushape table. I would definitely order.
Under spray insulation. We live in SE USA so freezing is not a big concern. We were told it helps keep camper cooler on hot days. I can’t say if it does because no comparison. Camper is always comfortable in all weathers.
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Old 11-20-2019, 01:09 PM   #20
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i wish i had purchased the inverter -all plugs
i like the radio they installed -I'm not handy so doing it myself is not an option
rear camera -i bought it but I've never used it
i love the out door shower to do dishes and clean up dog got it on the passenger side
love the captain lights I have two in dinette area and two in bed area
and i like the insulation under trailer
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