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Old 03-26-2016, 11:11 AM   #1
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Historically ordering an Escape

I've been wondering how ETI handled the ordering of trailers in the past. I joined the forum after they had opened up their books last year, so I didn't see any posts about how it was conducted. I'm also not doing a search through old threads as I'm not sure exactly what to look for and if I figured it out, I'd probably get twelve bazillion hits.

Was there usually a huge bunch of folks wanting a trailer and having to wait until they opened up their books? When they did start taking orders, was there a mad rush of fingers pressing redial over and over until they got through and could place their order? (Which is what I'm figuring will be happening this coming Friday.)

Have there been price increases each year and were they announced/published on their web site and/or the forum in advance of that ordering date? Or have price increases happened throughout the year without any fanfare/announcement?

What about when something new was added to the Standards or Options lists?

How about when a new trailer came out, such as the 21'? Did they publish lots of photos and information ahead of time? Or did you just figure you'd like it and went ahead and ordered, sight unseen?

How quickly was the website updated for the production dates for when they did open up their books? I don't know if their website is handled in-house or if they go through a commercial entity that charges you for everything you do with it. (After I upgraded my website with an Ecwid shopping cart, I added it to Weebly, as well as additional pages of information and photos - it's super easy to update with changes, additions and deletions. So, I'm always surprised when someone tell me it takes time to update. Um, I can do it in minutes, if need be. Nor do I have to know programming or coding.)

I'm also wondering how many folks were introduced to the Escape trailers after the article in Trailer Life last year and found out their books were closed to orders. So, they're now anxiously awaiting April 1st. Is there more interest in the trailers and a higher rate of frenzy due to that article? Or is it always like this before they open up their books for orders?

Thanks in advance for any info. I'm really curious about all this.
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Old 03-26-2016, 12:53 PM   #2
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Tammy has posted both here and their website price increase or decreases. Yes, decreases too. The bigger they grow the more bulk material purchase they can get, thus, passed it on down to the customer via price decrease. They have been completely honest with us for years on that and every detail on how the trailers are made. Remember when casita would not allow production plant photos to be taken.

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"Have there been price increases each year and were they announced/published on their web site and/or the forum in advance of that ordering date? Or have price increases happened throughout the year without any fanfare/announcement?"

They have asked for customer input and have taken polls here on the forum before new models are produced. No telling how much info they gather from face to face customers and via their phone lines and rally's they attend. They also shared the build process many times in the archives here.

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"How about when a new trailer came out, such as the 21'? Did they publish lots of photos and information ahead of time?"
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Old 03-26-2016, 01:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
Was there usually a huge bunch of folks wanting a trailer and having to wait until they opened up their books?

How about when a new trailer came out, such as the 21'? Did they publish lots of photos and information ahead of time?
When I ordered in the fall of 2012 I purposely chose a production date for May 2013 delivery but I could have chosen several before then. That was the time ETI offered reduced pricing for winter delivery dates, as I recall, to keep production at capacity during the slow months. See here, for example: Fall Into Winter Sale 2012. I believe that 2015 was the first year there ever was a line-up at the gate vying for production slots, probably driven in part by the change in exchange rate.

When Reace threw out the concept of a 21' trailer, I believe he posted some possible layouts. There was a lot of discussion and input. See these threads:

21' Escape - Coming Soon - Photo mock up and floorplan

21' Floor plan with rear bed
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Old 03-26-2016, 01:26 PM   #4
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In the past there was no deadline, there was a production schedule showing what models were being made what week of the year, that is how they did it then. Your model dictated when it could be made made and the calendar dictated when it was going to be made. Once the calendar got full for 2015 and into 2016 people started complaining about the year or more wait. Escape then decided to expand, the rest is history.
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Old 03-26-2016, 01:36 PM   #5
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In late 2005, early 2006 they briefly tried selling via the traditional dealership network. That raised the price and apparently didn't work out, so lucky for us they went back to a direct buy program.
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Old 03-26-2016, 01:44 PM   #6
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First escape photo I saw posted online was from Woody's rv at fgrv forum. Donna d. Might remember that. A 17 footer with a Woody's sticker on the back. Love at first sight ha ha
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Old 03-26-2016, 01:59 PM   #7
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Reace and Tammy have consulted extensively with owners of similar trailers, potential buyers, and existing Escape owners... both in person (at their factory, at rallies, etc) and through both this forum and (especially before this one started) FiberglassRV.com

I remember discussion of the 19' configuration (size, floorplan, and number of axles), a photo mockup of the 21', and extensive discussion of possibilities for the 5.0TA (as well as some images of the buck for the mould being built)... all before the design was complete so that it could respond to our ideas. There wasn't so much discussion of the 13' or 15', as they are largely copies of traditional Trillium models, and at least the 15' was largely driven by a commercial arrangement with TrilliumRV which didn't work out as planned.

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First escape photo I saw posted online was from Woody's rv at fgrv forum. Donna d. Might remember that. A 17 footer with a Woody's sticker on the back. Love at first sight ha ha
Perhaps this thread in FiberglassRV: Escape Trailer - starting at post #25

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Old 03-26-2016, 02:05 PM   #8
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I have had a couple folks stop over in campgrounds to look at the trailer that said they saw it in Trailer Life, but no serious buyer has mentions the article.

Think I found ETI doing a web search for fiberglass campers, was looking for truck campers.

The year waits are a new thing, sales really took off in the last couple years. So much so they couldn't manage the production and delivery calendars that stretched out too far in the future.

In Nov 2013 when I ordered the wait for the as yet to be designed 5.0TA was 9 months and you got the delivery date when you decided to order, no waiting till April to order. Actual delivery was mid June, or 7 months.
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Old 03-26-2016, 02:14 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your posts so far. And for any more (not thanking every single reply as that's kind of crazy!) after this post.

I love it when companies will have a "history" page, even if it's things they no longer produce. It's great to see how a company expanded their product line or whatever over the years. I'm enjoying the pages in Trailer Life where they show some of the magazine's pages from 20-30-40-whatever years ago. Even though I'm not interested in getting one of those trailers, they're still fun to look at.

Hey, ETI should add a historical page to their site with photos of the trailers they used to produce, along with their floor plan. Photos of the factory. Before and after photos (kind of like what they send to their customers during the production process). Someone should tell them that! Not me, as I don't have that kind of relationship with them nor do I ever expect to.

Well, off to look at those links.
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Old 03-26-2016, 02:37 PM   #10
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I like the historical information ideas. Previous-year model descriptions can be valuable for prospective buyers of used trailers, and helpful even for their owners. A timeline of models as a survey of the company's history helps people understand who they are dealing with, and can help separate the serious manufacturers from the commercial experiment of the day.
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