Can a 17B survive living > 80% of the time in the Big Bend Nat'l Park area? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-04-2019, 11:15 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Linden, Virginia
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Can a 17B survive living > 80% of the time in the Big Bend Nat'l Park area?

So...

[edit -- we'll be in a presumably well-insulated house. So I'm asking about the lifespan of and impact to our parked 17B adjacent on the desert hardpan under the shade structure]

1) we need a ~17' travel trailer, and after MUCH research are poised to order a 17B

BUT...

2) In about 2 years we'll be living in the Terlingua-Study Butte area next to Big Bend Nat' Park full-time. Our land is "oven hot" -- as far as radiating heat goes, I think during the summer the only places I'd guarantee would be hotter would be the Rio Grande Village area & Castolon & other River Rd areas.



I've been there in June and it was ~110 in the shade under a tarp.

Our 17B would be under a metal shade structure, of course, and it might be lucky enough to be elsewhere on vacation w/us during maybe 2 summer months/yr...but only every 2-3 years on avg over let's say a 20-yr life span? So over 20 years, I calculate that our 17B would be in-place in BB for >80% of the time.

And there will be a few nights a year in BB where it'll go from >80 in the day to <20 at night, then back again...

Could a 17B survive that? I realize the question could be would ANY trailer survive that?

So (sorry) that's a VERY long-winded way of asking "how many years do you think I'll be cutting off the typical lifespan of a well-maintained 17B w/this scenario" ... and I guess the other question might be "is there any reason why a 17B (however awesome it is in every other aspect) would be less-suited to a life in BB than another brand of trailer?

fyi the other candidates on our final list (none of which appeal to us nearly as much as the 17B) are:

Flagstaff E-Pro E19FD
Rockwood Geo-Pro G19FD
G-Stream Vintage 17RWD
G-Stream Vista 17RWD
G-Stream Vintage 17SCD
G-Stream Vista 17SCD
Lance 1475


Any thoughts (especially from Big Bend fans or any other desert dwellers) would be welcome.


Thanks in advance,


John & Tess
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:45 PM   #2
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Fiberglass doesn't shrink or expand with heat in any amount that would affect the shell. The frame should be pristine in the dry climate unless subjected to sandblasting winds. I expect the interior components will be ok. Keep the tires covered and check them for cracking.

Big problem would be UV eating the gel coat. I've seen this happen to sailboats in less harsh conditions. Dont know if the heat will affect the vinyl stick on cabinet surface. Dont know about the plastic tanks, but I think the fresh water tank will fare the best. Potential for the formica to separate from the plywood countertops.

So, keep it waxed and protected from sunlight and blowing sand.
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:45 PM   #3
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I would have them not install the graphics on the outside and keep them in a cool dry place for when it is time to resell.
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:59 PM   #4
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Since you'll have a "shelter" of sorts to keep it out of direct sun, that's half the battle. I would say you may need to pay more regular attention to door and window seals, the tires, and anything else that's susceptible to dry rot. I use 303 regularly on such items and it does a wonderful job keeping things new. And as has been mentioned, a really good wax job on a regular basis, or forego the waxing and just use 303 directly on the gelcoat maybe 3 or 4 times a year.

Also, for such extreme conditions, I would make sure to get the extra insulation/thermal windows and the spray foam undercoating.
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Old 02-04-2019, 07:36 PM   #5
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I suspect that you'll experience no adverse impact on longevity. The temperature extremes and low humidity may require tweaking your maintenance procedures, but the net-net the low humidity is a positive, and if you keep it stored out of direct sunlight that will take care the UV issue.

In ten years, looking at your trailer vs. one that has been kept in, say, Baton Rouge, LA or suburban New England, assuming equal use and good maintenance in each case, I'll bet you'd have the more desirable second hand trailer.
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:12 PM   #6
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In answer to your question about other trailers, I think the Escape will always be worth more than the others on your list. But...an Airstream is a beautiful sight in the desert...

Since you are in the neighborhood your might stop El Cosmico in Marfa and check out their collection of vintage lodgings. You might decide on a yurt.
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:58 AM   #7
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Yes I would be sure to order all the extra insulation you can get and consider that boats sit in some real hot harsh conditions and a lot of them are fiberglass I would think that part will do ok as long as you keep it out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Based on how the trailer will sit when stored maybe you also be sure to shade a side that could be during the hottest time of the day. I would also consider cracking windows and also add a fan or two on the interior to move air.
Not sure I will ever visit you though, I have no desire to be that hot!!!!

Enjoy the journey.

Steve
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:45 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for all the responses -- packing like a maniac to leave Virginia tomorrow 6am & get to Quartzsite 3 days later...then to Big Bend for a couple of weeks.


Please keep those "17B living in the desert" tips coming.



John & Tess
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:39 PM   #9
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While mine was never in extremely hot temps, I did notice significant off-gassing once during a hot spell when I inadvertently left the trailer sealed up tight. I'd leave a vent open.
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