Couple of questions on adding non-standard items on the 21 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-14-2014, 05:22 AM   #1
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Couple of questions on adding non-standard items on the 21

We are thinking about starting a snow birding life, and thought about what would be the best means to accomplish this. We enjoy the quiet national/provincial/state park environments and we intend to dry dock whenever we can. We looked at 5th wheels, A class, C class, B class and B+ class but I keep coming back to Escape 21 option. But it needs to be customized heavily. We plan to move every week or two between camping sites.

I'm wondering if these additions are possible:

- bigger holding tanks (probably not possible)
- FOUR x 6V batteries of my own choice (most likely higher capacity Trojans). I will be ordering the front storage container, hoping the batteries will fit. If not, I am even considering going Li Ion battery option. More expensive but less to worry about as well.
- larger than 95w solar panel - GoPower seems to list 160w kits as options on their site alongside these 95w ones. I'm wondering if TWO 160w panels can be installed on the 21. The length of these panels are 5ft, so I would think it would be possible. Even better, something like TWO of Sanyo HIT panels (240w each) which are supposedly using both mono and poly panels in one to take advantage of both traits. They are also 5ft long and 2.5ft wide.
- larger propane tanks - probably 2 x 40lb tanks.
- fridge of my own choice, most likely a small Danfoss pump based ones, which is a 12V super efficient fridge.
- I plan to get one of the quiet gas Honda generator. Is it possible to have it automatically start when batteries charge level drops below 50%?
- can I install a satellite dish compatible with some of the bigger networks in US/Canada? My wife loves watching NBA, MLB, etc.

I did the sizing exercise for the power use and we really do need 4 x 6V batteries as a minimum.

As for the tow vehicle, I'm still debating but the leading candidate is the Jeep Grand Cherokee with Eco Diesel.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:41 AM   #2
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I see several issues, with the JGC and 4 batteries plus 2x40 propane in front, your tongue weight will probably exceed 750# if not more. You can always add your own propane tanks or carry a spare, but I think 30 is the limit for Escape's design. The batteries will be in the rear dinette in the 21, that may help. I do not think you can order an Escape without the refer, so get the smallest one and replace it yourself. Escape maybe able to install 2x95 solars, anything else you will have to wire directly yourself. Good luck
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:40 AM   #3
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- bigger holding tanks (probably not possible)
A portable dump tank can help. May be able to add more fresh water capacity under the bed.



- FOUR x 6V batteries of my own choice (most likely higher capacity Trojans). I will be ordering the front storage container, hoping the batteries will fit. If not, I am even considering going Li Ion battery option. More expensive but less to worry about as well.
If the batteries in the 21 are in the rear this should pair well with larger propane tanks to balance the tongue weight. You may need to buy and deliver/ship the batteries to ETI.

- larger than 95w solar panel - GoPower seems to list 160w kits as options on their site alongside these 95w ones. I'm wondering if TWO 160w panels can be installed on the 21. The length of these panels are 5ft, so I would think it would be possible. Even better, something like TWO of Sanyo HIT panels (240w each) which are supposedly using both mono and poly panels in one to take advantage of both traits. They are also 5ft long and 2.5ft wide.
They installed dual 95W on my 19 - they said the 160 was too big.



- larger propane tanks - probably 2 x 40lb tanks.
See above.

- fridge of my own choice, most likely a small Danfoss pump based ones, which is a 12V super efficient fridge.
Have to ask ETI about this.

- I plan to get one of the quiet gas Honda generator. Is it possible to have it automatically start when batteries charge level drops below 50%?
Might be possible (expensive) but also needs to be time-based, many campgrounds have time of day generator use restrictions.

- can I install a satellite dish compatible with some of the bigger networks in US/Canada? My wife loves watching NBA, MLB, etc.
Yes
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:20 AM   #4
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I tried to upgrade to 30# tanks and was told they do not stock them. I think you could drop the 20# tanks and put what ever you want on the unit at home.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:24 AM   #5
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it is also possible they may not fit on the standard propane tray.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:23 AM   #6
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2nd Solar Panel
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:17 AM   #7
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Can I install a satellite dish compatible with some of the bigger networks in US/Canada? My wife loves watching NBA, MLB, etc.

Yes. Depending on the type you get, however, there may be an issue with where it is placed. We opted for the smallest we could find but the installation was limited because it couldn't be placed near power sources (e.g., A/C, etc.). Reace had to install it on the front which required reinforcing the roof (extra $$). Looks a little silly, but this was one option that was non-negotiable with DH. You might opt for a portable dish which would give you flexibility in its location for receiving signals.

Jan
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
with the JGC and 4 batteries plus 2x40 propane in front, your tongue weight will probably exceed 750# if not more.
I haven't checked the details of the JGC, but I assumed there will be plenty of payload to handle a small trailer. 750# doesn't sound a lot but I could be wrong.

Quote:
You can always add your own propane tanks or carry a spare, but I think 30 is the limit for Escape's design
30s would be acceptable. Probably easier to handle them so that's a plus over super heavy 40s.

Quote:
The batteries will be in the rear dinette in the 21, that may help.
I was looking at the photos on their site and thought they were hanging off the back of the trailer? Personally I didn't like that design, I would prefer to have them inside the trailer if possible.

Quote:
I do not think you can order an Escape without the refer, so get the smallest one and replace it yourself.
Would they be able to install them for me if I have the fridge delivered to their factory? I'm not very handy with wood working I'm afraid...

Quote:
A portable dump tank can help. May be able to add more fresh water capacity under the bed.
Portable tanks are something I'm trying to avoid but if that's the only option, I guess I'll have to take it. It would be nice to have more fresh water capacity, but are you suggesting adding another one under the bed, or extending the existing one?

Quote:
They installed dual 95W on my 19 - they said the 160 was too big.
Yes, I checked their spec and the 95w is only 40-inch long while the 160w panel is 60-inch long. But looking at the picture Jubal posted, it appears that there is enough room to put a larger one at the rear side. It is the panel between the vents that has not enough space to accommodate a larger panel. Sanyo HIT 240w panel should fit at the rear from the looks of it...

Quote:
Yes. Depending on the type you get, however, there may be an issue with where it is placed. We opted for the smallest we could find but the installation was limited because it couldn't be placed near power sources (e.g., A/C, etc.). Reace had to install it on the front which required reinforcing the roof (extra $$). Looks a little silly, but this was one option that was non-negotiable with DH. You might opt for a portable dish which would give you flexibility in its location for receiving signals.
How much do they charge to reinforce the roof? Also, are portable dishes better or worse at receiving signals? How easy is it to find signals using portable units? Looking silly is not bothering me at all...
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:43 PM   #9
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To install the antenna, wiring and roof reinforcement cost an additional $300. I don't know how well the portables work so can't comment on their use. We already have DISH and were able to add on DISHForMyRV for only $7.00/month more.

Looks won't matter when we're sitting inside on a cold night, watching TV ;-) Our antenna has a smaller footprint than some but it's a bit taller. The Oliver trailers seem to use a lower profile antenna (Home | Oliver Travel Trailers).
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:53 PM   #10
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GVWR of JGC is between 1100-1200 lbs, from this you subtract passengers, cargo, and tongue weight. Thus a heavy tongue weight will impact that nuber. The batteries on a 21 are not on the bumper(Escape 17' has them located there) but under rear dinette, room for two and possible two up front in storage box. The only f/g trailer that can carry 4 batteries and double solar and 30 lb propane from the factory is the Oliver AFAIK.
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