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Old 09-24-2015, 06:10 PM   #1
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Buying an older model

Hi!
Just wondering about buying an older used Escape camper, and anyone's experiences.
What specifically Should be checked in an older model?
What typically needs to be replaced or updated?
Is there a cut-off model year for most buyers? (Given that it's been stored, used, and updated as needed.)
Age?
What is generally considered to be "too old"?
Is there a linear progression of decreased valuation versus a model year cut off, where the value drops?
If these questions have already been addressed I apologize. My multiple searches did not bring up much information.
Thanks!
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:21 PM   #2
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Best way to answer you is with our recent sale of our 2005 17B. We had a solid price on it and immediately (within hours) had 6 buyers lined up on it. Due to the demand, no price reduction occurred. It was very well maintained, everything worked and didn't need anything unless one just wanted to do something.
As a rule the used Escapes don't dicker much at all, because there is no used inventory and no time to decide whether you want it or not before it's gone.
A different brand of molded fiberglass travel trailer would be more likely to have a better initial price point and some flexibility.
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:34 PM   #3
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We bought a used 2008 Classic 5.0 in 2013. Didn't need to replace anything...which all depends on the previous owner and how they treated the trailer. We did have ETI add a few things to it while it was up there and before we drove up to get it...bathroom window, loft emergency hatch, solar, texas fan, mud flaps.
Oh, we did replace the tires and spare tire cover....it was time....
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:55 PM   #4
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I'm not sure when ETI started their first units but most Escapes are less than 10 years old, a relatively young age for fiberglass units. Over on Fiberglass RV, some are 30-40 years old and still going.
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:43 PM   #5
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My 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe is now 27 years old. I'll be able to sell it for more than I initially paid for it, but I have maintained it and done some upgrades.

I'd say, if everything about the trailer from price to layout to condition appeals to you.. buy it. Because if you don't someone else will!
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:49 PM   #6
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Your comments are all so diverse and informative...thank you!
Do you recommend having an "expert" look over the trailer? This is difficult with buying long-distance, however. A prospective buyer would pretty much have to go by the word of the seller as far as the maintenance and upkeep history go.
So, what should a novice look at, and look for, besides the cosmetic things?
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:59 PM   #7
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Make sure the appliances all work, ask for any maintenance records, tire and brakes can easily be replaced.
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:39 PM   #8
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Over on the fiberglassRV forum they have published a buyers guide. What to look for and a check list to go over when purchasing used.

Buyers Checklist

There has also been suggestions that you might find another forum member to check out an item, particularly if it is some distance away, In reality this does not work because the trailers stay on the market such a short time,
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:58 PM   #9
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The trailers with the 4.3 refers do not cool adequately in spite of extensive modifications. Make sure the brackets for the solar panel fix have been installed. And now the mend plates to fix the welding problems on the trailers with 3" box channel frames. 3 strikes and you are out. Problems inherent to design and build quality.
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubal View Post
The trailers with the 4.3 refers do not cool adequately in spite of extensive modifications. Make sure the brackets for the solar panel fix have been installed. And now the mend plates to fix the welding problems on the trailers with 3" box channel frames. 3 strikes and you are out. Problems inherent to design and build quality.
Excellent! Good guidelines. Yes, I just saw the 3" frame issue. Good to know!
Appreciate the comment!
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
Over on the fiberglassRV forum they have published a buyers guide. What to look for and a check list to go over when purchasing used.

Buyers Checklist

There has also been suggestions that you might find another forum member to check out an item, particularly if it is some distance away, In reality this does not work because the trailers stay on the market such a short time,
Fudgebrownie, great link. Wow, this really helps! Thanks for posting.
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:33 PM   #12
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Determine the features you think you'd like to have. Get a list like others have suggested that includes the major components and ask ahead of time what it would cost to replace or repair. Ask owners of the trailer make and model you think you would like after touring a few, what the most common repairs are. Don't get in too big a hurry but get your finances, tow rig etc in order so you are ready to pull the trigger. Just like buying a house. Not everything will be perfect, if you can find someone who will be honest in his opinion to go with you, it might help a bunch. If comports do not work at the time of purchase and you know that, temper your offer considering what it would cost to replace if need be. Refrigerator doesn't work, take a cooler, furnace has problems, get a cube heater, there are project cars, boats, cabins, homes etc. if you don't want to work on things, buy new with a warranty. Otherwise there's a little caveat emptor in every used purchase.
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Determine the features you think you'd like to have. Get a list like others have suggested that includes the major components and ask ahead of time what it would cost to replace or repair. Ask owners of the trailer make and model you think you would like after touring a few, what the most common repairs are. Don't get in too big a hurry but get your finances, tow rig etc in order so you are ready to pull the trigger. Just like buying a house. Not everything will be perfect, if you can find someone who will be honest in his opinion to go with you, it might help a bunch. If comports do not work at the time of purchase and you know that, temper your offer considering what it would cost to replace if need be. Refrigerator doesn't work, take a cooler, furnace has problems, get a cube heater, there are project cars, boats, cabins, homes etc. if you don't want to work on things, buy new with a warranty. Otherwise there's a little caveat emptor in every used purchase.
Dave
Great advice, too...and yes, we just bought a house, and I'm approaching this Escape purchase in a similar fashion. I'm searching through the forum to make an option list. As you advised, I'll make that list, add it up, see what's available on the used trailers that may pop up, and go from there.
Wow...what a process...
Do you guys think ETI would ever expand their operations more to build more trailers to accommodate the increasing demand for their product? Heck, I'd send my currently unemployed young adult child to go up there and work for the winter...lol...
Thanks again for all of the helpful advice...you guys are great!
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:01 PM   #14
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Actually ETI will be picking up the building next door in the business park when the present tenant moves out (next year I think.)
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubal View Post
The trailers with the 4.3 refers do not cool adequately in spite of extensive modifications. Make sure the brackets for the solar panel fix have been installed. And now the mend plates to fix the welding problems on the trailers with 3" box channel frames. 3 strikes and you are out. Problems inherent to design and build quality.
Jubal Escape didn't make the frig . That being said I just came back from a long trip getting the outside temps from lows 30-40 to high 100 + . After the mods I did , insulation and fans I was very happy with my 4.3 performance . I don't have solar and don't know yet if I will get on my roof . Can't comment on that . Lucky me my frame is 4 in . I worked in carpentry and still do . I find my trailer pretty darn well made . Things will come up in designs that you thought were fine . I remember all the time we are working on commercial buildings following blueprints some fellow drew, and we had to stop and change direction or sometimes tear apart and redo . In the real world it just was not going to work but it looked good on paper . I think that what is best about Escape Industries is you can talk to them and they do listen . They do care about what they are building even after they have your money . You are not going to find that with many companies . If you are unhappy about items on your trailer call them and talk to them and give them a chance to find a resolution for you . I don't mean to upset you but you are obviously upset and it would do you good to talk to Escape . Pat
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:54 AM   #16
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I assume that the reference to a "box channel" frame is intended to refer to the box-section frames, and as the announcement from Escape (3" Frame Recall on 15', 17' & 19' Escape Trailers) explains, neither the early 3" frames nor any of the 4" frames have any issue... and the ones with an identified issue are easily reinforced at the joint in question. I suggest checking whether or not this recall applies to any trailer you're interested in, and ensuring that the work is done if it applies.

If you're looking at older Escapes, they will have the original frame design with bent (instead of mitred and welded) corners and so they will not be in the range of the issue which triggered the recall.
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:19 AM   #17
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Good clarifications and info from the last 3 posts. I haven't checked the specific forums yet, but I'd assume we could either modify or replace the fridge. Yes, I'd check the frame joint, of course.
As with anything aging (including myself!), one just has to take the good with the bad.
I just wanted more knowledge ( which you all are providing fantastically) as to what to check for. This way I can know what I'm dealing with as far as cost to get the trailer safe, usable, and maintained properly.
So, perhaps with the expansion, production might speed things up, and I won't have to worry about an older model Again, wishful and hopeful thinking!
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:49 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubal View Post
The trailers with the 4.3 refers do not cool adequately in spite of extensive modifications. Make sure the brackets for the solar panel fix have been installed. And now the mend plates to fix the welding problems on the trailers with 3" box channel frames. 3 strikes and you are out. Problems inherent to design and build quality.
Are you going to sell your 19?
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