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Old 02-23-2019, 11:24 AM   #1
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Advice for New Escape 19

I am picking up my new Escape 19 in April and am looking for some advice:

I plan to park the trailer beside my house when I get home. It is a really tight spot, about 6 inches clearance on each side of the trailer. The approach is straight in but I think I will need a trailer dolly to get it safely in place. The driveway is concrete an has a very slight slope, 6 to 8 over 25 ft. Looking online there seem to be a few options that vary in price. I live in Calgary and havent been any to see one in person or get any account from a user. The Trailer Valet XL appears to be the least expensive option but accounts Ive read have me questioning whether it is adequate. Does anyone have any experience with one of these? Id like to keep the expense to a minimum, as my application seems straight forward however I want to be sure whatever I purchase will do the job. Any advice will be appreciated.

Id like to install a small travel safe in the trailer that would hold a laptop and valuables like passports, etc. Has anyone install o safe in their Escape 19. If so where did you install it and what type/size were you able to fit in the trailer.

Lastly I need to get a brake controller. I want to get a proportional controller and have been looking at the Tekonsha P3. There appear to be lots of options but online accounts lead me to believe that I wouldnt go wrong with a P3. Once again Id be happy for any advice.

We are getting pretty excited about the new trailer. We are planning a cross-country trip later in the summer.
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:18 PM   #2
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Welcome Martin,
I have seen safes under the bed and inside the closet in E19 models. You can keep the passports locked in the vehicle glovebox or inside the camper. I have not heard of any theft of items in an Escape while in use, but it can happen. Insurance is always good to have.
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:26 PM   #3
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you could talk to Tammy about the safe. She'll have ideas.
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:34 PM   #4
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As for parking your trailer in a tight spot...this is my real world observation.

Parking with my truck is no problem as I can use the mirrors looking down each side of trailer.

The only time I had difficulty parking the trailer is when I had the bright idea of using the tractor. It is much smaller...of course no mirrors and the trailer came very close to hitting a tree even though I must have got off and on the tractor a dozen times.

That was a very close call and I will never back up the trailer again with any thing that I cant see down both sides while doing so.

So you have to ask the question...will the push dolly allow you see down both sides while you are backing up or are you backing up blind.
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:44 PM   #5
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Questions of safes do come up and the answer from some is that there are a few places in trailers that stuff can be stuffed. You might need to use your imagination or make a panel removable. Post # 187 in the link below is an example.
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Old 02-23-2019, 01:22 PM   #6
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I back my 21 from across the street. I have to pull into a side alley street, turn at a slight angle, cross the street and then down a steep driveway. Fortunately I don't have quite the tight area to put it in that you do, but it can be done.


I would suggest that, if possible, have someone help you when you back it up. Dirk comes out with his cell phone and tells me when to stop and go regarding traffic as I can't see it from the truck. Too many trees and fences in the way. The call comes in over the entertainment system in the truck, but I could also put my phone on speaker if need be.


Good mirrors will also help. As well as getting out to keep checking. and go slow so you can make adjustments.


The comment about seeing both sides is a very good one, so if you do go the dolly route, make sure you have someone checking the sides. And would you be able to stop it as quickly as you could using your tow vehicle?


Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2019, 01:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggscape View Post
So you have to ask the question...will the push dolly allow you see down both sides while you are backing up or are you backing up blind.

There has been discussion in the past about using a front bumper hitch. So, for demonstration purposes, I photographed the view from the driver seat as it would be with a front hitch.
Behind the trailer, left and right are steel posts embedded in concrete. Can't see either of them.
I have, however, backed my trailer through that gate, using my mirrors, which allow me to see the posts either side.
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File Type: jpg front hitch.jpg (174.0 KB, 32 views)
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Old 02-23-2019, 01:32 PM   #8
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Hi Martin,

Regarding your parking situation, you may want to try with your tow before buying a dolly.

I park our trailer in a similarly tight spot. As mentioned by others above, mirrors that let you see the whole length of your trailer are key. I also put a garbage can in line with the house a few feet in front to help judge distance on the house side and also get my wife to spot (using cell phones to communicate). Then I just back up very slowly mostly using the fence as a guide. At first I would have to pull forward 2 or 3 times when I got out of line but now I can usually do it in a single try.
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Old 02-23-2019, 01:46 PM   #9
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So Michael K, when are you cutting a door into the garage wall to access your Escape? That is one tight spot.
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Old 02-23-2019, 02:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
So Michael K, when are you cutting a door into the garage wall to access your Escape? That is one tight spot.
Funny you mention that - was joking with my wife about doing exactly that, but first I’d have to put in a concrete pad there since it’s a dirt slope right now. Realistically though, I'll just keep parking it like I am right now or maybe eventually turn that side of the house into a driveway access to our back yard and park the trailer in the back.
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Micheal K View Post
Hi Martin,

Regarding your parking situation, you may want to try with your tow before buying a dolly.

I park our trailer in a similarly tight spot. As mentioned by others above, mirrors that let you see the whole length of your trailer are key. I also put a garbage can in line with the house a few feet in front to help judge distance on the house side and also get my wife to spot (using cell phones to communicate). Then I just back up very slowly mostly using the fence as a guide. At first I would have to pull forward 2 or 3 times when I got out of line but now I can usually do it in a single try.
Hi Micheal,
Wow, that is about as much space as I have! It is good to see that it can be done. I think Ill take your advice and wait until I give it a try.

Martin
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggscape View Post


As for parking your trailer in a tight spot...this is my real world observation.

Parking with my truck is no problem as I can use the mirrors looking down each side of trailer.

The only time I had difficulty parking the trailer is when I had the bright idea of using the tractor. It is much smaller...of course no mirrors and the trailer came very close to hitting a tree even though I must have got off and on the tractor a dozen times.

That was a very close call and I will never back up the trailer again with any thing that I cant see down both sides while doing so.

So you have to ask the question...will the push dolly allow you see down both sides while you are backing up or are you backing up blind.
When I think about it this Makes good sense. I was also a little worried about it getting away from me and rolling down the driveway dolly and all.
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micheal K View Post
Hi Martin,

Regarding your parking situation, you may want to try with your tow before buying a dolly.

I park our trailer in a similarly tight spot. As mentioned by others above, mirrors that let you see the whole length of your trailer are key. I also put a garbage can in line with the house a few feet in front to help judge distance on the house side and also get my wife to spot (using cell phones to communicate). Then I just back up very slowly mostly using the fence as a guide. At first I would have to pull forward 2 or 3 times when I got out of line but now I can usually do it in a single try.
You know it is tight when you have to make sure the step is in and the windows are closed. Good thing your electric awning is built into the side of the trailer.
The door being against the wall does help in not being broken into.
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:34 PM   #14
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Martin, did you get the electric awning that is built in or the manual that is attached to the side and sticks out? Makes a difference if you are talking in inches.
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
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You know it is tight when you have to make sure the step is in and the windows are closed. Good thing your electric awning is built into the side of the trailer.
The door being against the wall does help in not being broken into.
Just to clarify, I currently park it as shared in the picture earlier, so not all the way in beside the house, just partially. I’d have to level and put concrete beside the house to back it in further. I could just park it on the slope of the driveway but then it would be more in the way and I wouldn’t be able to level the trailer.
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Old 02-23-2019, 05:59 PM   #16
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Re what Eggscape said. After busting two manual awning brackets (pot metal) and paying Carefree too much for replacements I now rely on DearOne, standing out there, ready to holler "Stop!!" when necessary. And, of course, the mirrors. It's a very heavy push so, any push dolly that's not motorized.... IMHOP ...would not do the job.
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:18 PM   #17
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All great advice here. I like the garbage can suggestion! We also have 'inches' of clearance on each side of our gate - and like Micheal said, it does get easier with practice. Hope it works out for you. You'll probably find that mastering this technique at home will eventually make backing into most campsites with all that real estate and practice a piece of cake! Cell phones are a good idea but we always keep a set of those 2 way radio/walkies talkies (and batteries) in our TV for backing up. We find them easier to use for spotting than cell phones. (They're great for caravaning, too! Cell phone coverage can be spotty in areas but those radios have a great range and work everywhere!)
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:26 PM   #18
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If you're in BC, let the passenger handle communications with cell phone or radio. Heavy fines for driver, if caught operating hand-held device.
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Old 02-23-2019, 08:16 PM   #19
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If you're in BC, let the passenger handle communications with cell phone or radio. Heavy fines for driver, if caught operating hand-held device.
Good point gbaglo! My husband and I almost always travel together and the passenger talks on the radio (when we travel with friends)...however, my curiosity got the best of me and I asked a policeman about it last year (here in California) since I occasionally tow alone and he said that if the 2-way radio does not have a 'cell phone' feature on the device, then it is legal for the driver to use. He said truckers do it all the time, however, this policeman is my one and only data point on this so regardless, rules are different everywhere so let's all drive safe and let the passenger do the talking...unless we're backing up!!
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:31 PM   #20
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We have a Trailer Valet XL from a old stick and tin unit we had with a 2-5/16 coupler ball arrangement. With this we found the XL would snug up tight and worked very well to maneuver our trailer down a slight grade with an angle. While you cannot see along the side of the trailer from the coupler, with many stops for checking, or a spotter, we were very happy with the XL.

When we got our E19 we purchased the 2 ball for the XL and used it once. We have never been able to get the XL to snug up to the coupler so it wants to list it whatever direction the forces happen to be going creating, IMO, an unsafe condition where the XL could tip or disengage suddenly dropping or damaging the coupler. I dont know if this goes with the 2 ball, or the difference in surface area between the 2-5/16 coupler and the 2 coupler, or the coupler Escape uses, but for whatever reason we find the XL does not work well with our E19.

I would suggest you keep practicing your backing with your spotter, and spend the money you would spend on the XL on some practical mods for your Escape.

Safe travels, Doug
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