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Old 04-14-2014, 07:13 PM   #1
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Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
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First week

I thought I'd report in about the first week in my new Escape 21, for the benefit of those other newbies who are planning to pick up their new Escape at the factory and live in it for a while before returning home. I have been camping without hookups in a state park.

Overall, the trailer is very livable; I would have no problems staying in it for weeks on end. That's good, since I intend to see the country with it; that's why I bought it.

- Storage- there is indeed lots of storage in the trailer. I left Florida with a pickup bed full of stuff I thought I'd need; the bed cover would barely fit over the cargo. All of that stuff has disappeared into the Escape and its outside storage bin, with room to spare. Right now I've filled only half of the kitchen area cabinets and maybe less than half of the overhead storage. I'm impressed. Sometimes I wonder where everything went.

- Handling - the trailer pulls very well, no complaints.

- Propane usage - I emptied the first bottle of propane sometime Saturday or maybe Sunday, so that's six or seven days for one bottle. I am in Deception Pass State Park in Washington. It's been chilly here, with highs in the 50s-60s (F) and lows in the 30s a couple of nights, so I've used the furnace quite a bit.

- Holding tanks - My black tank is half-full (2 lights). My graywater tank seems to be full, or almost full (4 lights). I filled the graywater tank faster than I expected, but I think by altering some of my habits I can conserve water better. I have been adding water to the fresh water tank with a 5-gallon jug. I have reached my goal of being able to stay one week in one location without emptying tanks, so that's all I care about.

- Electric usage - this has been my major challenge. I have the dual 6V batteries and one solar panel. It has taken an effort to keep the batteries charged, but a lot of that is due to the situation: as I've said, it's been chilly, so I have to run the furnace when I'm in the trailer. Also, my camping site gets about three or four hours of direct sunlight per day, if it's sunny. I've had about two or three sunny days, with the rest overcast or raining. From now on I'll try to avoid shade when camping.

So in summary, I like my trailer and am happy with my purchase. If someone wants to "dry camp" in an Escape for an extended period, it's definitely doable.

Mike Lewis
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:15 PM   #2
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Thanks for the report, Mike, very helpful to those considering various options.
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:44 PM   #3
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Thanks for the report out Mike.
I was wondering if the solar would keep up in that forested camp ground.
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:12 PM   #4
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Thank you for this information Mike.I plan on doing the same with a 5.0 I will pickup in Sept.I hope you continue to share your experience.
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:51 PM   #5
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Mike, glad to hear your having a good trip. I'm in South Florida and am picking up a new 5.0 in October. By the way, it's 90 degrees today and not even summer yet so no need to hurry back. Enjoy
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:15 PM   #6
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Wow, another 21' owner in the neighborhood. With the prospective owner in Gulf Breeze, that would make three of us.
We'll have to schedule a mini-Escape rally.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:38 PM   #7
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Ray-

Sure-- maybe at Ft. Pickens in the fall, after it cools off a bit.

Mike Lewis
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:58 AM   #8
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21ft camping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
Ray-

Sure-- maybe at Ft. Pickens in the fall, after it cools off a bit.

Mike Lewis
Mike, you panel should charge even in the shade but direct sunlight is better.
Chuck
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Old 04-16-2014, 04:13 AM   #9
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Thanks, that is helpful. I live in that part of the country and have been trying to decide if I should order a second solar panel. Last week was nice with quite a few sunny days. This time of year we can't count on sun as you are discovering if you are still here. Were you able to get a full charge when it wss cloudy or raining?
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:49 PM   #10
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I don't carry a generator, and depend on solar. I've found that I can replace the 20 - 30 amp hours I use each day with the 95 Watt optional panel supplied by Escape as long as I have the high summer sun & no shade. Winter sun, a string of cloudy days, or shade limits me to 3-5 days before I'm down to 1/2 on my 6V batteries.

I added a Solar Blvd folding 160 watt panel that I set up when necessary. With the combination I have been able to deal with shade & low sun angles. My review of the panel is here.
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