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Old 04-13-2019, 07:28 PM   #1
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First impressions of our new 5.0TA

Well, we've had 24 hours now in our new 5.0TA. We're at the KOA in Lynden - a gorgeous campground despite the fact that it has rained all day today. After a year of researching, reading the forum, and even driving from Texas to Chilliwack to visit ETI last fall we were about as prepared as we could be. There were changes over the course of the year in the 5.0TA, and after we finalized our build, but we're really happy with the options and features we got and so far have no regrets about any of them. We saw the new maple interior at ETI yesterday and really like it - but the oak is really nice too.

One thing we noticed and forgot to ask about at ETI was that the escape hatch over the bed seems to have changed. The floor model we saw last year had a woodgrain (either wood or plastic) frame inside on the ceiling, and we had heard from others that the exterior cover was fairly translucent and let a lot of light in. We came prepared with a "blackout curtain" cover to mount there to ensure a nice dark bedroom. But now there is a welded metal one piece white frame around the inside on the ceiling, and last night we noticed that the cover does not seem to let hardly any light in. They must have changed to a new escape hatch with a thicker cover that blocks out the light really well.

We really like the U-shaped dinette and the big clear view out all the windows and the comfort of the seating exceeds our expectations. We got the slide mounted front to back and just push the table back against the back cushions, makes it really easy to get in and out of the side benches where we sit. We will be replacing the table with our own when we get home - Mary has been busy hand stenciling an intricate design on top of a 36" round wood drop leaf table. More on that later when it is installed and I have photos to share.

Our old trailer did not have tinted windows, and I am really amazed at how great the visibility is looking out through these, but how much privacy the tint provides from the outside....plus they look really nice.

It will take us a while to figure out where everything will be stored - we didn't bring a lot of stuff with us on this trip so that's been easy, but on longer trips we'll have to be a bit more organized with our storage space. In general all of the cabinet space throughout has felt larger and more spacious than we expected it to. That's good, because it is a real pain pulling cushions out to access the space under the dinette bench, that will definitely be for rarely used items.

We've tested every component, I think, just to ensure everything is working before we leave the area and have encountered no problems. Things have changed a bit since our 1999 trailer - so many things are digital now with a bunch of electronic controls, it will take a while to become familiar with them all but again, everything is working.

After seeing many posts about problems with the furnace I bought an extra sail switch at ETI to stick in my tool box. We are amazed at how quiet the furnace is, we only used our old one when dry camping because it sounded like a jet engine but this one just whispers and so far it has worked perfectly, I really like it.

I expected not to like the new 90 degree door but find that I really like it, very nice to have it just spring open and stop and it seems sturdy and solid.

When we woke up this morning and in the dim light looked down the length of the trailer it felt very much like we were in our old very similar trailer. And we have learned that despite being off the road for several years we still have a lot of "muscle memory" from that trailer. It had one less step up to the bunk area, and the bottom step was full width rather than having the angle cut out like the 5.0TA. Each of us has taken a header when climbing down from the bunk and stepping out as though we were about to step on the floor when there was still one more step...and this morning I missed that one because I stepped where the corner is angled off. Probably won't take me too many times doing that to learn a new routine

The one thing we are not in love with is the bathroom. After having a bigger dry bath in our old rig the wet bath seems really tiny. We've known that all along, of course, but standing in it for the first time it really sunk in. Today I at least got up some Stugvik towel bars and wall cubbies from Ikea and it feels a bit better.

When we arrived at the KOA and I went to unhitch I was unable to unlock the hatch to access the landing gear switches. It looks like the little piece of metal that covers the keyhole is dinged up and at first wouldn't budge, then tried to go off at an angle. I was finally able to pry it aside and get a key in, and since it's been raining ever since I haven't fooled with it any further. If it keeps doing that I'm sure I can at least pry the keyhole guard aside with a pocket knife and get a key in, and if that happens I'll just switch that hatch lock out with one of the propane compartment latches and be good to go. When we get home I'll just get some replacement higher quality hatch locks and replace them all.

Our experience at ETI from start to finish was just wonderful. Everyone we dealt with in the office and as part of the orientation and pickup process was terrific, very knowledgeable and helpful. When we got to Bob's to pick up the trailer our delivery driver didn't show up for a bit, and when he got there he said someone had noticed a problem with our belly band in one spot and he had to wait for them to correct that.

Sigh....as I wrap up this post Mary has started cooking and the range exhaust hood fan has just crapped out. Oh well - not much I can do about that at this point and I'm not going to stay up here until next week just to get that corrected by ETI, I will have to troubleshoot that later. Worst case is having to replace the fan motor and hopefully that's not too big a deal.

One last thought - the 5.0TA is absolutely the most stunningly beautiful fifth wheel ever created! We've gone for walks around the campground during breaks in the rain and find ourselves just stopping and staring at it in awe that it is OUR trailer. And a huge thanks to everyone on the forum for your words of wisdom, advice and encouragement throughout this whole process - now that we are sitting in our trailer we finally feel like real members of the Escape family.
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Old 04-13-2019, 08:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
Well, we've had 24 hours now in our new 5.0TA. We're at the KOA in Lynden - a gorgeous campground despite the fact that it has rained all day today. After a year of researching, reading the forum, and even driving from Texas to Chilliwack to visit ETI last fall we were about as prepared as we could be. There were changes over the course of the year in the 5.0TA, and after we finalized our build, but we're really happy with the options and features we got and so far have no regrets about any of them. We saw the new maple interior at ETI yesterday and really like it - but the oak is really nice too.



One thing we noticed and forgot to ask about at ETI was that the escape hatch over the bed seems to have changed. The floor model we saw last year had a woodgrain (either wood or plastic) frame inside on the ceiling, and we had heard from others that the exterior cover was fairly translucent and let a lot of light in. We came prepared with a "blackout curtain" cover to mount there to ensure a nice dark bedroom. But now there is a welded metal one piece white frame around the inside on the ceiling, and last night we noticed that the cover does not seem to let hardly any light in. They must have changed to a new escape hatch with a thicker cover that blocks out the light really well.



We really like the U-shaped dinette and the big clear view out all the windows and the comfort of the seating exceeds our expectations. We got the slide mounted front to back and just push the table back against the back cushions, makes it really easy to get in and out of the side benches where we sit. We will be replacing the table with our own when we get home - Mary has been busy hand stenciling an intricate design on top of a 36" round wood drop leaf table. More on that later when it is installed and I have photos to share.



Our old trailer did not have tinted windows, and I am really amazed at how great the visibility is looking out through these, but how much privacy the tint provides from the outside....plus they look really nice.



It will take us a while to figure out where everything will be stored - we didn't bring a lot of stuff with us on this trip so that's been easy, but on longer trips we'll have to be a bit more organized with our storage space. In general all of the cabinet space throughout has felt larger and more spacious than we expected it to. That's good, because it is a real pain pulling cushions out to access the space under the dinette bench, that will definitely be for rarely used items.



We've tested every component, I think, just to ensure everything is working before we leave the area and have encountered no problems. Things have changed a bit since our 1999 trailer - so many things are digital now with a bunch of electronic controls, it will take a while to become familiar with them all but again, everything is working.



After seeing many posts about problems with the furnace I bought an extra sail switch at ETI to stick in my tool box. We are amazed at how quiet the furnace is, we only used our old one when dry camping because it sounded like a jet engine but this one just whispers and so far it has worked perfectly, I really like it.



I expected not to like the new 90 degree door but find that I really like it, very nice to have it just spring open and stop and it seems sturdy and solid.



When we woke up this morning and in the dim light looked down the length of the trailer it felt very much like we were in our old very similar trailer. And we have learned that despite being off the road for several years we still have a lot of "muscle memory" from that trailer. It had one less step up to the bunk area, and the bottom step was full width rather than having the angle cut out like the 5.0TA. Each of us has taken a header when climbing down from the bunk and stepping out as though we were about to step on the floor when there was still one more step...and this morning I missed that one because I stepped where the corner is angled off. Probably won't take me too many times doing that to learn a new routine



The one thing we are not in love with is the bathroom. After having a bigger dry bath in our old rig the wet bath seems really tiny. We've known that all along, of course, but standing in it for the first time it really sunk in. Today I at least got up some Stugvik towel bars and wall cubbies from Ikea and it feels a bit better.



When we arrived at the KOA and I went to unhitch I was unable to unlock the hatch to access the landing gear switches. It looks like the little piece of metal that covers the keyhole is dinged up and at first wouldn't budge, then tried to go off at an angle. I was finally able to pry it aside and get a key in, and since it's been raining ever since I haven't fooled with it any further. If it keeps doing that I'm sure I can at least pry the keyhole guard aside with a pocket knife and get a key in, and if that happens I'll just switch that hatch lock out with one of the propane compartment latches and be good to go. When we get home I'll just get some replacement higher quality hatch locks and replace them all.



Our experience at ETI from start to finish was just wonderful. Everyone we dealt with in the office and as part of the orientation and pickup process was terrific, very knowledgeable and helpful. When we got to Bob's to pick up the trailer our delivery driver didn't show up for a bit, and when he got there he said someone had noticed a problem with our belly band in one spot and he had to wait for them to correct that.



Sigh....as I wrap up this post Mary has started cooking and the range exhaust hood fan has just crapped out. Oh well - not much I can do about that at this point and I'm not going to stay up here until next week just to get that corrected by ETI, I will have to troubleshoot that later. Worst case is having to replace the fan motor and hopefully that's not too big a deal.



One last thought - the 5.0TA is absolutely the most stunningly beautiful fifth wheel ever created! We've gone for walks around the campground during breaks in the rain and find ourselves just stopping and staring at it in awe that it is OUR trailer. And a huge thanks to everyone on the forum for your words of wisdom, advice and encouragement throughout this whole process - now that we are sitting in our trailer we finally feel like real members of the Escape family.


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Old 04-13-2019, 09:26 PM   #3
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I frequently have trouble with my hatch keys...sometimes i have more success going in at an angle toward the front or back instead of straight in. Hope that works itself out. It's a bummer about the fan.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:43 AM   #4
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Congratulations on new 5.0 TA.

We have owned a 5.0 TA since June 2014. We use it about 32 nights a year and we are still happy and satisfied with our trailer.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:04 AM   #5
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:59 PM   #6
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Did the cats come along for the pickup trip? What are their impressions? Our cat walks on a leash and always takes us to the largest RV she can see when we are at a park. Luckily she has no voting rights as we will not get a 36 ft 5th wheel or the 43 ft monster motorhomes.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:09 PM   #7
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Did the cats come along for the pickup trip? What are their impressions? Our cat walks on a leash and always takes us to the largest RV she can see when we are at a park. Luckily she has no voting rights as we will not get a 36 ft 5th wheel or the 43 ft monster motorhomes.
The cats stayed at home for this trip. Three cats in carriers in the back seat of the truck would not have left us much room for cargo, not to mention how traumatic for them the long trek to Chilliwack would have been. We want their first experience in the new trailer to be positive - when we get home and get it all set up, arranged and situated we will take them out to it in the driveway to introduce them to it, and then plan a one night overnight trip to a nearby park with them.

Note to dog owners - cats' feelings are very sensitive, if we just tossed them in the trailer and hit the road they would hate it and let us know that every day in many ways
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:07 PM   #8
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Good plan, David. I've been trying to introduce my cats to a newly installed cat door which is a new concept for them. I end up holding the flap door for them so they can go in and out. Any tips?


And don't worry about the smaller wet bath in your new trailer. As long as the cats approve, it'll work out!
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:12 PM   #9
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Good plan, David. I've been trying to introduce my cats to a newly installed cat door which is a new concept for them. I end up holding the flap door for them so they can go in and out. Any tips?
Propping the flap open at first just to get them used to going through is often helpful. Once they are used to going thru the opening they will be more motivated to figure out how to get thru the flap.
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:20 AM   #10
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Great first review, Dave! Many happy trails ahead for you guys.
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:28 AM   #11
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Now that we have a couple of days under our belt we are really settling in and able to get a feel for everything and really enjoy the trailer. As a carpenter I just automatically am drawn to checking out every detail of the cabinetry and woodwork and I have to say the quality of materials and construction is just superb. I haven't found a single piece of trim or paneling that isn't fitted perfectly, the attention to detail is really outstanding, and the cabinetry is really strong and solid. To be doing this quality of work on a production time frame like they have now says a lot about ETI's operation.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:30 AM   #12
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Propping the flap open at first just to get them used to going through is often helpful. Once they are used to going thru the opening they will be more motivated to figure out how to get thru the flap.

I'll give that try, David. Thanks!
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:32 AM   #13
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Now that we have a couple of days under our belt we are really settling in and able to get a feel for everything and really enjoy the trailer. As a carpenter I just automatically am drawn to checking out every detail of the cabinetry and woodwork and I have to say the quality of materials and construction is just superb. I haven't found a single piece of trim or paneling that isn't fitted perfectly, the attention to detail is really outstanding, and the cabinetry is really strong and solid. To be doing this quality of work on a production time frame like they have now says a lot about ETI's operation.

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Old 04-17-2019, 09:07 PM   #14
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We are loving the trailer more every day. And after traversing all the mountains from Washington to southern Utah I am really loving the way it tows, such a change from our 20 year old rig. Camped tonight at a favorite spot of ours in Torrey, Utah on our way home to Texas.
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:31 PM   #15
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We are loving the trailer more every day. And after traversing all the mountains from Washington to southern Utah I am really loving the way it tows, such a change from our 20 year old rig. Camped tonight at a favorite spot of ours in Torrey, Utah on our way home to Texas.
Thanks David In 8 weeks and a few days I'll be on my way. I'll have a little over 3,000 miles to get to Chilliwack. Spent today getting my generators ready. I already have the back of my truck loaded and ready to go. On the way back I'm planning on Arches and Canyonlands followed by some time around Medicine Hat and Monument Valley then down to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Your picture of the 5.0TA in Utah has me excited. Oh, how did the range vent fan issue work out? jn
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:36 PM   #16
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Thanks David In 8 weeks and a few days I'll be on my way. I'll have a little over 3,000 miles to get to Chilliwack. Spent today getting my generators ready. I already have the back of my truck loaded and ready to go. On the way back I'm planning on Arches and Canyonlands followed by some time around Medicine Hat and Monument Valley then down to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Your picture of the 5.0TA in Utah has me excited. Oh, how did the range vent fan issue work out? jn
Are you planning on getting solar? Is so, I doubt you will need a generator on that sunny route back home. Unless it is for the AC, that is.

Great trip planned. We did most of that last year. Great country!
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:43 PM   #17
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Are you planning on getting solar? Is so, I doubt you will need a generator on that sunny route back home. Unless it is for the AC, that is.

Great trip planned. We did most of that last year. Great country!
Hey, I'm out of money so the solar had to wait but solar's in the planning stage. I'll be hitting southeastern Utah and northeastern Arizona toward the end of June early July. I'll probably need the AC and I hope to stay where the generator noise won't be bothering other folks. jn
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:45 PM   #18
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Thanks David In 8 weeks and a few days I'll be on my way. I'll have a little over 3,000 miles to get to Chilliwack. Spent today getting my generators ready. I already have the back of my truck loaded and ready to go. On the way back I'm planning on Arches and Canyonlands followed by some time around Medicine Hat and Monument Valley then down to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Your picture of the 5.0TA in Utah has me excited. Oh, how did the range vent fan issue work out? jn
I emailed the ETI service department on a Saturday evening...on Monday I got an email response that they would have a new fan motor sent out to me, guess that will be one of my first projects when we get home. In the meantime opening the kitchen window and running the Maxfan works quite well.
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:57 PM   #19
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I emailed the ETI service department on a Saturday evening...on Monday I got an email response that they would have a new fan motor sent out to me, guess that will be one of my first projects when we get home. In the meantime opening the kitchen window and running the Maxfan works quite well.
Thanks David Did you get the oven or the range top? Again, the picture of Utah has me excited. Also, how is the Ram handling the trailer and how does the trailer tow? Thanks again and y'all have a safe trip back to Texas. My parents retired down at Rockport and I spent several years based at DFW. jn
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:58 PM   #20
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One last thought - the 5.0TA is absolutely the most stunningly beautiful fifth wheel ever created!
Agreed. I believe the 5.0TA is the prettiest RV on the road today. Congratulations on your new rig!
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