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Old 10-30-2014, 07:44 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Los Osos, California
Trailer: 2014 21 2013 Yukon
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Home But Not For Long

After owning a 2010 17B for 9 months we jumped when ETI posted a revised production schedule last May with two 21's available. Having spent 100 nights by the end of June in our first trailer we wanted more space.


Went to the Escape Rally in June to see one & get ideas. First 21 I saw was Dave & Kathy's and upon stepping inside I knew. Just had to convince my wife, who really liked the 17. She flew up a week later and had the same reaction when seeing one at ETI.


Orientation 9/17 seemed like a walk-through inspection although Rhonda was willing to go over anything you wanted. Delivery went quick: Dennis set up the hitch, while I finished the paperwork with Tammy then was told the driver had already left and would be waiting for me in Sumas.


I removed the bike rack for Anderson fitting but fortunately remembered a few miles later. Border crossing unpredictable; every car ahead had to open trunks. Being so packed I was sure of being sent to secondary, however was waved through after a few questions. Manfred was waiting and seemed anxious to go back for the next one but did help me back up onto the hitch. What a feeling it was at that point- IT'S MINE- not a build sheet!


Tammy suggested Birch Bay for a first stop, which was great. Easy to get to from ETI, spacious, beautiful, quiet. Also not far from major shopping to stock up with the stuff unable to fit inside the TV on the way up.


The U-shape dinette and a 12” filler board & cushion makes a nice lounge. Using 2' X 2' sofa cushions in the corner to read with feet up. Made another 12” filler board & cushion from leftover fabric so now it is like having the table down. The u-shape area is not square, thus requiring second filler board to be slightly longer, and cut at an angle. We stowed the ETI table in TV. Have a 3” latex twin size topper at rear that we fold up and put at the head of the main bed during the day. For the full bed we're using 5” foam + 2” visco + 2” latex. Have two counter extensions rather than a table and use a breakfast in bed table on back cushion sometimes. Prefer open feel without the table mounts in floor. May try an alternative style table mount.


No A/C, which gives us a skylight in the kitchen and extra headroom. Dry camping 90% of the time means AC would be useless as we don't use a generator. A future owner can install a new one later. Bathroom window is great to have for light & ventilation. Storage cubby & curtain are nice; helps keeps the door glass dark in the A.M. & privacy when outside door is open.


Have solar option with Group 29 12V battery. With 5 straight days of clouds & rain didn't get below 50% charge. Otherwise it was charged full daily. Inverter & transfer switch makes life easier. Vitamix works with the ETI installed 1500 watt inverter which has a boost feature but didn't need it. Surge protector & removable power cord; Captain's lights in dinette good for reading. One of my favorite options not listed but found on this Forum: 3 light switches by the door. One turns on all 4 exterior lights. One for first inside light and the other for porch light only.


The foot flush toilet is convenient and slightly taller. For the way the 21 bathroom is oriented it seems the best fit. Shut-off valve for toilet & light for hot water tank are worthwhile. Atwood power jack makes hitching up/off a lot easier; can only open TV's hatch when square though.


Storage box is great, and serves as a rock guard. Exterior shower was used 3-4 times, and we really like it. The Andersen is much lighter and cleaner than the spring bars we had previously. Learned to remove it while square prior to unhitching at an angle to eliminate need to straighten it out later with one chain attached. Glad we had the stabilizer pads installed- now no need to plop down plastic pads.


After Birch Bay we headed east on WA 20. Skagit river reminds me of that Brad Pitt movie. Howard Miller Steelhead is a great place to stay & take in Concrete & the hiking around the river from the campground.


Started raining next day(yea!) & we continued eastward. Second night we were near the divide & still raining. Woke up the next day and most of our window screws were rusted and we had a lot of condensation inside. Had no problem in 17B/no thermal package. Had some condensation- but no rust. Concerned, I sent pics to ETI. Reace said it was a new one & had to research. Spoke with Hehr window rep who said dual pane RV windows are not like those in homes. No gas between the panes, so thermal value is pretty nil. “Like stacking two panes together”. Sound attenuation is the main benefit, however I can see these windows are built and operate better than their single-pane model. ETI buys the screws separately & Reace told me electrolysis due to a bad coating may be the primary cause and is sending new ones.


Drove to Lake Chelan & Wenatchee (love Pybus Market). From there we headed down south along the Columbia to Pendleton, Oregon then south on 395. Spent next night at Crystal Crane Hot Springs which is a good-sized round pool left in its natural state. Very low-key and inexpensive. $20 gets you camping & admission to the hot spring. Big open sky out there.


Next was MacArthur Burney Falls. Who thought there would be that much water anywhere in CA? Lassen NP, although less well know is one of the most beautiful & interesting. Large pictures of the 1914 volcanic eruption are on display. Finally on to Quincy to visit our son going to college. Last leg took us towards Mono Lake then up Tioga Pass through Yosemite.


Had a scare with awning last day of travel on Hwy 41 west of Kettleman almost exactly where a wind advisory sign is. Susan yells “pull over!” Back end was hanging out about 3 feet. I think the Milenco mirrors helped her see it as they remind you to look. Was reminded to pull on black strap to be sure the lock switch is engaged.


Love this new trailer, and hope the brand continues to grow. Fit & finish are very good-have just one end panel inside an upper cabinet that looks like a saw blade was dull cutting it but no one can see it. Did also find a patch covering an indent the size of a quarter behind the roof vent. Am told it is a mold blowhole, and is normally covered by the AC.


We traded for a Yukon and am glad we did, even though we just bought the Toyota in January and really liked it. The Highlander replaced our Murano and was great for the 17B. Having towed in/out of Death Valley and up Tioga Pass with it last April, I was concerned with another 1400 pounds behind us. A few of you told me at Rally or sent PM's advising against it while others using same or similar say its fine. In the end my expectation was to feel confident. Towing with the Yukon does this and I didn't have to worry about packing like an astronaut. Engine braking was very effective- had it on the Highlander, but this seemed to have a more noticeable effect. The tachometer rarely went above 3200 & didn't downshift as much. Yukon's curb weight is 5347 vs. 4266 for the Highlander, yet the mileage is 15/21 vs. 17/21. Towing averaged 16-17mpg with the Toyota/17B combo and 13 mpg for GMC/21.


Doing the build sheet reminds me a little of remodeling a kitchen. To do it right takes time & knowledge. Time spent on this Forum is the only means I know for one to understand what all is available, as certainly not all the items one reads about are listed on ETI's website. I spent a LOT of time putting our list together as am sure many/most of you did as well. Susan calls me a Forum addict, however our 21 turned out just right for us with no regrets.


Thank you Tammy & Reace and everyone who shared their ideas with us. Pics tomorrow- it's Friday!


Ross & Susan
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:12 PM   #2
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Congratulations Ross and Susan - what a great trip you had! Ross, it was nice meeting you in Osoyoos, glad you are happy with the 21. We found over the last year the more we camped in ours, the more we liked it. We're sure that you will feel the same way!

Safe travels and, as always, Happy Trails!
Dave & Kathie
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:34 PM   #3
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Ross and Susan, thank you for the big report. Sounds as if you are very satisfied customers.

I take it you did without pedestal supports. I am wondering where and how the curtain is placed.

There are awning straps that can be put at the top to keep the awning from coming down.
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:46 PM   #4
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Ross & Susan, thanks for your report. I too noticed a bit of rust on the screws around the window. We didn't have that on our 17b (which did have the thermal package). I may hit Reace up for some new screws, or may just not worry about it.

For whatever reason, I noticed more condensation in the 21 than we had in the 17. but it could well be that we were camping where it was more humid.
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:51 PM   #5
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Have either of you installed the hyper mesh? I have not had any issues after installing that. I do keep the o/h vent open a bit 24/7 and the kitchen window cracked 1"
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:13 PM   #6
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Jim- I've read up on the mesh, but didn't think we would need it in our dryer climate. Like Leon we noticed much more condensation than the 17B and did read the manual on the subject as not to make obvious mistakes. No heat overnight, yet the difference does seem to be cracking the vent slightly.
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floating Cloud View Post
Ross and Susan, thank you for the big report. Sounds as if you are very satisfied customers.

I take it you did without pedestal supports. I am wondering where and how the curtain is placed.

There are awning straps that can be put at the top to keep the awning from coming down.
The curtain is hung from a rail just inside the doorframe and extends from the bathroom door to the kitchen counter.
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
...Had a scare with awning last day of travel on Hwy 41 west of Kettleman almost exactly where a wind advisory sign is. Susan yells “pull over!” Back end was hanging out about 3 feet. I think the Milenco mirrors helped her see it as they remind you to look. Was reminded to pull on black strap to be sure the lock switch is engaged...
Buy a couple of bungie balls sized to fit around the arms of the awning. Simple to install, hold well, and provide security against the awning letting go while you are driving. We use something like these:

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Old 10-31-2014, 10:01 AM   #9
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I do something similar with securing the awning. Never had a problem but reading about them gave me cause to try Velcro straps. Several years ago I purchased a 4 pack of these from Amazon and have found a myriad of uses. If you need a longer segment they can be connected together.

On the awning I daisy chained two of them for securing the support arm, I fastened them at belly band height.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg velcro straps.jpg (92.1 KB, 2 views)
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Old 10-31-2014, 10:23 AM   #10
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Great report, thanks much, and happy camping.
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