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Old 10-03-2015, 12:07 PM   #1
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Escape Quality

The quality of Escape trailers is a frequent topic of conversation on this forum. Thankfully, for both ETI and its customers, I “guesstimate” that roughly 98-99% of all comments in this regard are enthusiastically positive. That’s a good thing for all of us.

For future customers (and to a degree, current owners), I thought it would be helpful to put any ETI’s product quality into perspective.

IMHO, here are some considerations for evaluating the quality of ETI’s products:

Will my product be 100% perfect upon delivery? Probably, but if not, consider the following:

o ETI’s products are literally handmade, just like a Rolls Royce (seriously). With so many human hands touching so many parts of the trailer during its construction, it’s inevitable that there will be degree of human error. That’s a fact of life, but I believe ETI goes to great lengths to continually monitor construction and assembly standards. Importantly, there is lots of evidence that they also make necessary adjustments as issues are discovered.

o The customization ETI’s trailers, is a major attraction to potential customers. But all those options bring with them, a variance in production standards that can increase the margin for error during manufacture. No such thing as a free lunch … (where have I seen that before?)

Once I take it home, will it require my on-going attention and maintenance? Absolutely.

o Think of your trailer as a home – it has a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. You drag it down the highway at 65 mph for hundreds (if not thousands) of miles. It shakes, bounces, and is constantly exposed to the elements. Plus, it has numerous electrical, plumbing, heating, refrigeration, and mechanical systems servicing it throughout these ordeals. HELL YES you have maintenance responsibilities; several of them. If you want to be any type of RV owner, you’ve got lots to learn about and that’s just a fact of life and goes with the territory; we’ve all been there and accepted that fact. If you can’t, you’re probably better off in a hotel.

While I am one of the many ETI “cheerleaders” like the vast majority of this Forum’s members, I want to be fair and note that I too have had “issues” with my ETI trailer: a screw was missing in one of my windows frame during installation; a cabinet hinge was loose upon delivery; and significantly, my refrigerator did not meet my performance expectations, and I like many others am subject to the current frame recall. However, each time I raised these issues with ETI, they provided the parts and/or resources necessary to resolve all of my issues. While I have been mildly annoyed, by problems didn’t linger; they were resolved. I can’t say that about all my consumer product experiences.

Sorry if this comes off as a rant. Moderators please feel free to deem this TLNR.
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:16 PM   #2
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Escape Quality

Zardoz well said and I am in 100% agreement ( but then I am an ETI cheerleader too)
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:17 PM   #3
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Well said Rich, and as everyone probably already knows from my posts, I am in full agreement with what you said.

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Old 10-03-2015, 12:24 PM   #4
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here you go....
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:56 PM   #5
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Four thumbs up here ....actually way more from the folks who have viewed our "little gem " and are not even Escapees ( yet ) .
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:56 PM   #6
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Escape Quality

Rich your post is probably representative of most of our dealings with ETI. Having bought 2 Escape trailers I have had a few "warranty issues" that were taken care of by service which I can only describe as outstanding. I have owned and been involved in building stick built units and not one has come close to the quality of the 2 Escape trailers I have owned.

I think both Rich and Glenn have hit the nail on the head, there will be ongoing maintenance required.

Cheers
Doug (also a fan)
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Old 10-03-2015, 01:03 PM   #7
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This thread kind of reminds me of a training exercise I went through in my business career. At the beginning of the exercise, an excellent mechanic decided he wanted to have a bicycle and built it himself. His friends thought is was really cool and asked him to build them one. The challenge was that it took him one year to build one. In time, demand increased and he decided to build more than one, but had to get assistants to work with him. As the business grew, there were defects in manufacturing. The good - he could please more customers with more product. The bad, there were mistakes made. (Manufacturing defects) So, I am pleased that Escape has grown and they continue to work towards minimizing defects while increasing quantities produced. They could eliminate most defects if they took away the customization that we all demand. I am very happy with my "one of a kind" Escape that was built in a reasonable time.
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Old 10-03-2015, 01:09 PM   #8
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Quality

The last two trailers I bought were Escapes and I would have a newer one if I had been quicker last week. Prior to these we have had the two other mass produced glass trailers,we enjoyed each one and never contacted the builder, but you do get what you pay for. Earlier we have also had a Phoenix Cruiser B+, Winnebago B+, Tioga C, R-Pod (never again), and one of the best a 1954 Schult with gas lights and I could heat up a 1/2 acre in N. Dakota. 50 years of owning RV's results in experience. I always did all of the maintenance and felt that I should to avoid problems. I'm now well into my 70's and had to look for a RV tech to take care of a Dometic problem because he knew who to call and get warranty parts. I may wait for Dave to stop by to pack wheel bearings and wait till the grandkids need money to do the wash job. We have shown our appreciation to Tammy and Reace and company by giving them our money and saying nice things.
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Old 10-03-2015, 01:11 PM   #9
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I qualify as an ETI cheerleader. I am very pleased with our little 17B, its’ quality and ETI’s customer support. I agree with Zardoz’s post.

Here are my reflections: I’ve wondered about people’s expectations who have little RV experience, no fiberglass trailer knowledge and few DIY mod/maintenance skills who live far away from ETI Chilliwack who purchase an Escape. These folk should realize that no company is perfect, no product is perfect. They should do their due diligence and have realistic expectations about the Escape product and company. You are buying a complex system. Nothing is perfect. That being said, in my experience, ETI does a superb job at customer service. It is great having a quality product that will last many years.

Owning an Escape has literally changed Liz and my lives. Our little 17b with solar has opened up our retirement life in ways I didn’t think possible a few years ago. Further, I’m very thankful for the ETI forum: for the kind reception and advice we received when we were in the research/learning stage about fibreglass trailers; for the ongoing connection we now have with the ETI community.

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Old 10-03-2015, 01:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zardoz View Post
Think of your trailer as a home – it has a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. You drag it down the highway at 65 mph for hundreds (if not thousands) of miles. It shakes, bounces, and is constantly exposed to the elements. Plus, it has numerous electrical, plumbing, heating, refrigeration, and mechanical systems servicing it throughout these ordeals. HELL YES you have maintenance responsibilities; several of them. If you want to be any type of RV owner, you’ve got lots to learn about and that’s just a fact of life and goes with the territory; we’ve all been there and accepted that fact. If you can’t, you’re probably better off in a hotel.
I totally agree with your assessment.

Short of a dedicated craftsman handcrafting one at a time with money and time being no object, there will be errors when mass production is required. Without mass production we would not be able to afford to buy one assuming we could tolerate the wait.

I design and make things as a hobby and know that as careful as I might be, errors will show up. Actually I am shocked that despite mass production we get high levels of qualiy, not perfect just close to it.

I fully expect to see manufacturing errors when we take delivery and will correct them unless its a big one. Maintenance will be done and I will take full responsibility for the appearance and functionality of my trailer. As ETI grows we will likely see more missing window frame screws, screw head missing caulk, loosely tied wire bundle, etc. Totally fixable issues by owner. The Escape line of trailers are affordable and a great VALUE. I understand pricey brands such as Airstream for example not so happy with current levels of quality and a host of other issues with their overpriced trailers. We have it good !
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