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Old 01-13-2019, 12:17 AM   #1
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Escape trailers and bad roads

Hello all, I will appreciate any candid thoughts or honest appraisals on this issue.

I have visited the factory in BC and have been very impressed with the apparent quality of the trailers. I am seriously considering ordering a 5.0.

My one concern has to do with how robust these trailers may be on bad roads. I like to travel the backroads of the Pacific Northwest, including little-used logging roads on national forest and BLM lands and others that are in pretty poor condition in remote areas.

Some manufacturers offer some pretty stout four-season trailers with high clearance, tough suspensions and heavy duty wheels and tires. While I can see the Escape trailers will be very capable on paved and primary gravel roads I wonder about your experiences on the type of roads I have described here. I enjoy the paved roads in National Parks but don't want to miss out on the benefits of living where we have a lot of quiet, remote countryside that begs to be explored.

Thanks for any insight you can offer.

Best regards,

Matt in Spokane
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:14 AM   #2
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Welcome Matt, to our Escape world. Escapes have a torsion suspension to soften the impact. Although designed for highway use, some members have taken theirs off the beaten path. Other than a 4" lift, that seems to be the only suspension option. Not sure what type of trailers you have used before but other than suspension I'm sure you are aware of other limiting factors such as your tow vehicle and hitch.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:07 AM   #3
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We live on a very rough road and travel here in the northeast on our logging roads which I would bet would be similar. We've found that the issues are more with what's inside the trailer, screws loosen, things jump out of cupboards etc. We even had the stove come out of its holding clips. But if you drive slowly, really, really slowly all seems fine. You just need to check and tighten anything that's come loose. We do have the high lift and that helps. The other issue is tree limbs, some roads are just not passable due to low hanging limbs that would scrape at our roof, solar panel and vent covers. We give our 19' thumbs up on back road travel if used with care. I know someone on the forum drove the Labrador highway as well.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:09 AM   #4
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What TallyHo said. I've been on a few bad roads. Drive slow, watch out for low branches, hard turns, deep gullies, concrete ruts, and maybe have only one issue....
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:41 AM   #5
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There are several threads that discuss your question. Here’s one

Escape Durability and Off-Road Capability
https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?sha...4&share_type=t

Use the search feature for more.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
What TallyHo said. I've been on a few bad roads. Drive slow, watch out for low branches, hard turns, deep gullies, concrete ruts, and maybe have only one issue....
Looks like the road to Chaco.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:56 AM   #7
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Myron, you have to stop keeping the toilet tissue with your dishes....................
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:59 AM   #8
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Myron, you have to stop keeping the toilet tissue with your dishes....................


As my dad used to say, it all ends up in the same place eventually.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:01 AM   #9
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I think the question of off road and inside issues is what happens when a on road vehicle is taken off road. Most off road trailers are designed and normally have different suspensions and are not top heavy. See here
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:03 AM   #10
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Notice the suspension is different, leaf spring suspension and high clearances.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:49 AM   #11
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There's nuts, and then there's Aussie nuts.

I wasn't towing on this road, following the notorious Animas River, and that was wise. A ranger I spoke with right about here told me if I went any further the road would rip my running boards right off.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Welcome Matt, to our Escape world. Escapes have a torsion suspension to soften the impact. Although designed for highway use, some members have taken theirs off the beaten path. Other than a 4" lift, that seems to be the only suspension option..
While often called a "torsion" suspension - even by Dexter - there's no torsion element in the Dexter Torflex suspension system. It is the rubber-sprung independent trailing arm suspension which is the second most common type of trailer suspension (with beam axles and leaf springs being the most common type). Escape uses the #10 size of Torflex for all models of their trailers (one axle for the 17', two axles for other models).

The optional spacers lift the trailer 2-5/8" (not 4"), but it is true that this is only suspension option currently offered by Escape. When the early 5.0TA had beam axles it could be set up for high and low positions which were different by about 4 inches, but that design hasn't been used for about three years.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:33 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Spokane Man View Post
Some manufacturers offer some pretty stout four-season trailers with high clearance, tough suspensions and heavy duty wheels and tires.
What would you consider a "tough" suspension? Although there are some Australian caravans intended for trail use, all I've seen in North America are essentially interchangeable suspensions (short-travel basic leaf springs and beam axles, or rubber-sprung independent); the only premium feature offered by some manufacturers is added shock absorbers (not offered by Escape).
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spokane Man View Post
Hello all, I will appreciate any candid thoughts or honest appraisals on this issue.

I have visited the factory in BC and have been very impressed with the apparent quality of the trailers. I am seriously considering ordering a 5.0.

My one concern has to do with how robust these trailers may be on bad roads. I like to travel the backroads of the Pacific Northwest, including little-used logging roads on national forest and BLM lands and others that are in pretty poor condition in remote areas.

Some manufacturers offer some pretty stout four-season trailers with high clearance, tough suspensions and heavy duty wheels and tires. While I can see the Escape trailers will be very capable on paved and primary gravel roads I wonder about your experiences on the type of roads I have described here. I enjoy the paved roads in National Parks but don't want to miss out on the benefits of living where we have a lot of quiet, remote countryside that begs to be explored.

Thanks for any insight you can offer.

Best regards,

Matt in Spokane


Matt, we live in the mountains of central Idaho. We bought the Escape 5.0TA just because of what you are looking to do. We love it! We did get the lift on our axle mostly to fit our truck (Ford-F150) and we’re pleased with the set-up. We do not take it over boulder strewn fields, but there is not a road here I would not take it on. We do like adventure and as a former “ game warden” I spent much time on backcountry roads. You’re new 5.0 TA will handle it.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:33 AM   #15
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I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO BE THE DRIVER IN THAT VIDEO, THAT LOOKED LIKE A LOT OF FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I bet they were able to find a private campsite.

Enjoy the journey.

Steve
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:10 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by stephen99 View Post
Looks like the road to Chaco.

Yeah, it does. During a stay in New Mexico I noticed that Chaco Canyon was between two of my camping stops, so I was going to go there on the way while pulling my trailer. I changed my mind at the last minute and visited Chaco without taking the trailer. I'm glad I did.


Last year I pulled my 21 along what turned out to be fifty miles of gravel road in Manitoba. It fared better than I expected. The road was reasonably well-maintained but there were a few areas of washboarding, enough to knock things loose, but not much came loose in the trailer.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:23 AM   #17
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We frequently take our Escape 21 up forest service roads with ruts and washboard gravel to shake us up. We had the high lift option installed for a bit better clearance for the spray foam. As already stated, slow and steady will get you there without anything other than the odd loose cupboard door. We use straps and footman loop hardware to secure our fridge and I did one of the table mods (bunk bed latch) to secure it for rough roads.
Fly fishing can take you to some pretty remote campsites.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:00 PM   #18
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Hi Matt, I have a 2017 5.0 TA and live in Spokane. If you want to see one again without going to BC, just send me a pm. Mark
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:25 PM   #19
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I'm south of you in north central Idaho. We bought our 19 with the specific objective of being able to take it off the beaten track. We actually live on a dirt road that is off the beaten track. When we decided on an Escape, our thinking was a fiberglass camper would hold up much better than a stick built trailer... not sure that is correct or not, but that's what we thought. So far we've had no trouble, other than what others have mentioned, which is stuff getting shaken out of cabinets. We are slow, deliberate drivers, however. Did not get the high lift axle, and in the future I may have a better feel if that was the right decision.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:26 PM   #20
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one suggestion, don't put anything remotely heavy in the upper cabinets when traveling... can/jar food etc. we take all that stuff out and load it in a plastic tub that rides on the floor then put it away when we get to our campsite.
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