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Old 08-21-2010, 06:11 PM   #1
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Back from Chilliwack

Patti and I picked up our Escape 19 at the factory in early July. We stayed around Chilliwack for a couple of days to make sure any questions or concerns about our new trailer were addressed before moving on. After leaving Chilliwack, we meandered east along CA Hwy 3 for 10 days, then headed north to Red Deer, AB for my cousin's 80th birthday celebration. Our plan was to leave Red Deer a couple days later, head south to the Laurier border crossing,, then follow US Hwy 395 back home.

Unfortunately, a couple of concerns and questions came up after leaving Chilliwack, making it necessary to go back to the factory before crossing into the US and heading home. After resolving the issues as best we could, we headed to the Sumas border crossing, made our way to I-5, then headed south. At Seattle, we headed east on I-90 to US 97 and south to the Cascade lakes area near Bend, OR for some kayaking on the lakes and along the Deschutes River. We then headed south and east to US 395 to continue our original travel plan back home.

Importing the trailer into the US was easy. We had to wait our turn in line behind other people with various border crossing issues that had to be resolved, but once we got to the counter and made it clear as to what we were doing, the border and customs guy that ended up handling our paper work showed the import papers that Tammy had given us to his fellow officers, mentioned what a great company Escape Trailers was for helping make the process so simple, signed and stamped the papers with a couple of authoritative thumps and sent us on our way. Registering the trailer once back into sunny SoCal was, on the other hand, a bureaucratic, time consuming and expensive process.

With a couple of exceptions, the Escape 19 has met or exceeded our expectations...

--- The combination of dual 6 volt batteries, LED lights and 95w solar panel with charge controller was definetly worth the added expense. With moderate 12 volt power use (lights at night; water pump, stove fan, Maxx Fan, and heater fan as needed, and combination radio/CD player as desired), the battery charge never fell below 80% and was always back to 100% by noon the next day.

--- The trailer tows better, rides better and backs easier than our 17' Casita (which tows, rides and backs pretty easily itself). I tow my trailers behind a Ram 2500 pickup with a Hemi V8, but would tow the Escape 19 with my wife's 6 cyl. Toyota 4-runner or other vehicle rated for 5000 pounds if necessary, so long as the appropriate equalizer hitch equipment was installed.

--- The toilet/shower area is smaller than the Casita's and there's no easy accomodation for storage of bathroom related stuff. It's a little cramped, but we'll get used to it. There is a bathroom vent, but no DC powered vent fan...that would be a plus.

--- The 5 cubic foot 2-way fridge changes from AC to propane easily. After a few days of driving with the fridge running on propane, Patti's concerns of doing so had eased and she has pretty much accepted it as the only way to keep the fridge cold on long drive days.

--- The "dual fuel" AC/propane water heater is worth the added expense...takes 30 minutes or less to get hot water either way and it's nice to be able to heat water on someone else's "dime" when possible...well, I suppose since I've paid the daily camping , fee it's still technically my dime, but at least it's not my propane.

--- The awning is easy to use once you get used to the routine, but the custom screenroom that attaches to it is a disappointment. Its design elimates two entry door functions...the built in step and door hook. It's overly long and sloppy along the bottom and difficult (almost impossible, really, on hard ground) to stake down neatly to keep wind from blowing it about. When I asked about these issues on our return visit to the factory, some suggestions were offered to solve the problems, but none of them were satisfactory. I'm sure Escape Trailers would have taken the screenroom back and given me credit for the cost, but since the outside of the trailer is now permantely peppered with all the required snap fitings, I decided to keep it and will find a way to make it work as best I can.

--- The stove fan vents into the trailer rather than to an outside vent. Air from the stove burners is sucked up by the fan and then blown through the front of the vent hood over the stove...OK in cold weather, I suppose, but not so good when it's hot. I've never seen an RV stove fan vent in such a way. So far, no problem (hasn't set off the propane or carbon monoxide alarm), but I would prefer the stove generated hot air vent to the outside. When using the stove, I make sure at least one window is cracked open and the Maxx Fan is running.

--- The sliding dining table had no locking device to keep it from sliding while traveling. As it always slid to the off center position, I feared this would put extra stress on the table and table supports while driving down the road. Reace fixed this problem on our return visit to the factory with a screw knob underneath to secure the table from sliding. Since it screwed tight to the table bottom itself, boring holes into the plywood, I attached a strip of 1" x 15" by 3/8" wood to the bottom of the table when I got home so the threaded rod now tightens into it instead of the underside of the table.

--- There's lotsa storage and Patti is having trouble filling it...but, I'm sure she will find a way. Since she's a fairly short person, she has trouble seeing and reaching into the top storage compartments. The bottom storage is mostly hers and the top storage is pretty much mine.

After 3 weeks of generally successful traveling with our new trailer, we're looking forward to adding some personal touches and modifications, then heading out for more travel adventure.

Rich

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Old 08-21-2010, 06:35 PM   #2
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

Hi Rich

Just a quick comment, if you ever camp in an area with lots of bugs
and the ground is not level or slopes away from your trailer
you will be glad the bug screen is as long as it is.... a lot of bugs
can get in if its a couple of inches above the ground.
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:04 PM   #3
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

Thank you for posting your comments. It is nice to hear frank opinions. What I learned from your posting was regarding the stove venting. I guess I can give up on finding that exit vent. It was causing me to wonder if I was wrong about that little vent in the wheel well.
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:05 PM   #4
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

The stove venting has me perplexed. I've got a 17B. The stove hood vents out the driver side, but you have to open the toggles that hold the flap down for travel. Pic shows vent with flaps closed and toggles in place. Toggles are prone to falling out.

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File Type: jpg stove vent.jpg (192.5 KB, 118 views)
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:12 PM   #5
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

You beat me to the reply baglo. I'm curious if Escape is using a different stove fan. If so, I hadn't heard about it. The stove vent in our 19 is exactly as depicted in Baglo's pic. There are two small plastic tabs that you rotate to "unlatch" a plastic vent flap that swings open to let the hot air out when the vent fan is turned on.

Rich - I'm glad the solar is working well for you & that you're happy with it. Sounds like you guys had a good amount of time to break in your new trailer & get a good feel for it. I'm guessing you'll be able to figure out ways to smooth out the crinkles that you've identified.
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:26 PM   #6
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

I have to admit that I've not used the stove hood fan. I usually forget to open the vent and the only thing we've used our 3-burner stove for is to make coffee in the morning. In that case, I turn on the Max if I need to.

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Old 08-21-2010, 08:37 PM   #7
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo
The stove venting has me perplexed. I've got a 17B. The stove hood vents out the driver side, but you have to open the toggles that hold the flap down for travel. Pic shows vent with flaps closed and toggles in place. Toggles are prone to falling out.

baglo
Baglo - our new 17B has no outside vent like that. The hood vents back into the interior.
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:51 PM   #8
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

Eric or Rich - Could one of you post a pic of what your stove fan that vents inside the trailer looks like? It's hard to imagine what purpose it serves. The only thing that I can think of is circulating the hot air inside which again leads me to ask "why"? I always thought the primary purpose of a stove vent was trying to push the hot air outside to keep it from heating up the inside & possibly reduce lingering food odors from cooking.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:24 AM   #9
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

Great feedback, thanks for posting.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:54 AM   #10
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

The first house we owned, a long time ago, had a vent hood that was not vented to the outside. The air blew back into the kitchen. Most range hoods are vented to the outside to get rid of the grease and smoke generated by cooking. The recirculating type catch the grease and smoke in the filter instead. The "internal vent" type of range hood is much simplier to install. In our first home the range was pretty close to the center of the house. Even straight up would have been a long run of pipe to get to outdoors, so, the builder put in a recirculating hood. In the case of our fiberglass trailers, a recirculating vent hood means one less hull penetration, one less opportunity for a leak somewhere down the road.

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Old 08-22-2010, 10:24 AM   #11
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

Texscapees - I don't have a picture of the hood, but I think the latest ones Tammy has posted on Escapetrailer.com shows it. When we got ours she said it used a carbon filter to remove smells and that most new RVs were using this type of hood. We open a window whenever we use the stove and turn on the MaxiFan.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:48 AM   #12
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

We have one of those hoods that recirculates the air through a carbon filter in our house and it is basically useless. I would like to hear Reece's thinking on this change because I respect his knowledge and experience. Without further information, I am inclined to get the old style hood that vents to the outside on my new 19' when it is built. It looks like it would vent under the awning, which is not so good for grease laden air, but should present no problem for steam. The other alternative would be to not have the vent hood installed and just use the Maxx Fan as required.
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:09 PM   #13
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

I definitely like the exterior exhaust vent on our fan hood as I use it when boiling water
and making coffee in the morning (this keeps condensation to a minimum), it also does
a good job of getting rid of cooking smells such as bacon, fish and all those odours that
kind of hang around forever

I'm sure if anyone talks to Reace he could still use the vented style.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:46 PM   #14
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold Kroeker
We have one of those hoods that recirculates the air through a carbon filter in our house and it is basically useless. I would like to hear Reece's thinking on this change because I respect his knowledge and experience. Without further information, I am inclined to get the old style hood that vents to the outside on my new 19' when it is built. It looks like it would vent under the awning, which is not so good for grease laden air, but should present no problem for steam. The other alternative would be to not have the vent hood installed and just use the Maxx Fan as required.
Harold,
The vent is on the back of the trailer rather than the front (under the awning) on the 5.0 anyway. Only problem with it is that you have to remember to walk around the trailer and unlatch the flap, or to latch it again before you hit the road. I wouldn't like the recirculating vent either.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:04 PM   #15
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieEscape
Harold,
The vent is on the back of the trailer rather than the front (under the awning).
On our 19, the vent is on the passenger side under the awning. Since Harold is getting a 19, I'd assume that is where it'd still be if he were to request the outward blowing oven vent.

It's been interesting reading the different comments and perspectives expressed in this thread. I would be interested to hear Reace's thoughts for the switch & pros/cons too.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:44 PM   #16
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

When we came out with the 15', the kitchen in the Plan B is across the front of the unit and we could not use an exterior venting rangehood due to leakage when travelling in rain. I finally found non-vented rangehoods with a carbon filter which solved the problem. To provide ventilation the MaxxFan became a standard feature in all the trailers. There are several other manufacturer's that have the same setup and it made sense.....no extra vent hole in the side of the trailer....everything exhausts out the top. MaxxFan is usually running when cooking....right?

Alas...it did not bode well with our customers. We still use the same rangehood, however now we cut a hole in the back of it and plug the hole that would send air back into the cabin. The exterior venting rangehood is back.

There were only a handful made with the non-venting rangehood and those of you that would like to make this modification to your rangehood, I will mail you the exterior vent and a foam seal for between the rangehood and the trailer wall. Please email me rather than post that request here. Unfortunately the 15B will still have a non-vent rangehood.

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Old 08-23-2010, 10:15 AM   #17
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

Reace, I think I agree with your initial reasoning. To get any real air flow out the Escape, a window needs to be at least slightly open. Otherwise the fan is trying to pull air thru any small air leak - of which there are few in our double insulated 17B. We always at least slightly open a rear slider window when cooking. We always use the Maxx Fan which then pulls air across the kitchen and out the top. The range hook directs its exhaust into that air flow and then on out. After owning a Scamp with rivet holes everywhere I really like keeping holes in that beautiful fiberglass shell you crafted to a minimum. And if the weather is decent we prefer to cook outside anyway.

Of course, all that said, when I mention this to the actual cook in the family, I may be emailing you for the parts to make the change over!
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:10 AM   #18
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

Cafe Egg has no vent for the hood, and I second Reace's first statement! I am glad I don't have this extra hole in the wall. Cooking takes place outdoors anyways, and if I cook inside, the Maxx fan goes open.

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Old 08-23-2010, 06:19 PM   #19
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Re: Back from Chilliwack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texscapees

Rich - I'm glad the solar is working well for you & that you're happy with it. Sounds like you guys had a good amount of time to break in your new trailer & get a good feel for it. I'm guessing you'll be able to figure out ways to smooth out the crinkles that you've identified.
We traveled with the trailer for 25 days after picking it up in Chilliwack. We camped in many different situations over that time from no hookups and no facilities (other than the 'pits&#39 to full hookups (water, power, sewer, WiFi, Cable TV, pool, rec. room, etc...). We gave it a good shakedown "cruise" before heading back home. We discovered its strengths and weaknesses and evaluated them as they pertain to our travel habits. We found no "crinkles" that we can't live with or otherwise deal with. We're satisfied with our new trailer and look forward to many years of happy traveling and camping.

Rich

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