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Old 03-22-2015, 11:36 PM   #1
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Location: Durango, Colorado
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Non-Pavement Towing

We are researching the purchase of a 19 ft. or 21 ft. Escape.
We mostly camp on Forest Service or BLM land and wonder how well these campers travel on gravel roads (with washboards) and dirt roads. Most roads are generally smooth with potholes on dirt roads. Roads may be rough but not 4x4 roads.
We feel the lift kit would be a good idea for extra clearance.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:19 AM   #2
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I have 17B with high-lift axle and it can go places my RAV4 cannot. Buddy has 19 and we often travel together.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Cattle road.jpg (189.2 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Skagit washboard road.jpg (233.5 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg Rock pile.jpg (284.3 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Toad road.jpg (263.7 KB, 26 views)
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:03 AM   #3
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Other that a few pit marks in the gelcoat, our trailer has done fine, and travels lots of gravel/dirt roads. These rougher roads may put a bit of wear on them, but nothing like stick built trailers, where this vibrating/shaking action is their bane, loosening things up on them.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:40 AM   #4
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Keep tires in good shape on the tow, i once got two flats on one side on a forest road and one spare at 10:00 at night on a F150. If tires are getting closer to their time get new ones. The wear gets thin and a pointed stones can go through. With me was wife, 2 year old grand son and step son, what a time. Carl
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Old 03-23-2015, 03:33 PM   #5
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We are impressed with how well the front storage box protects the trailer from flying rocks. It has a hard coating (same as the coating for truck boxes) that resists damage. It is angled downward and seems to deflect the rocks down.
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:54 PM   #6
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Anything but washboards!!! I have not had any clearance problems with a normal axle on our forest gravel and dirt roads. But, interior stuff has been moved or shaken loose by washboard vibrations. Such as: fastening screws, furnace grill, stove grates, refrigerator door, screen door hinges and track connection (bi-fold), emergency exit levers. Various adjustments have improved most affected items, but I still wince and move with caution when I encounter washboards.
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:03 PM   #7
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I find I get a smoother ride on washboard if I increase speed, rather than slow down. It's a question of finding the sweet spot.
I've had the fridge door open a couple times on washboard, so now I lighten the load on the door and bungee it.
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I find I get a smoother ride on washboard if I increase speed, rather than slow down. It's a question of finding the sweet spot.
I've had the fridge door open a couple times on washboard, so now I lighten the load on the door and bungee it.
Yep, increasing the speed can indeed produce a sweet spot - until you have to slow down (for any reason) and it suddenly becomes very sour. And after my door fell off once, I shimmed the thumb latch, and I now check the hinge security and bungee the door before launching.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhonisch View Post
We are researching the purchase of a 19 ft. or 21 ft. Escape.
We mostly camp on Forest Service or BLM land and wonder how well these campers travel on gravel roads (with washboards) and dirt roads. Most roads are generally smooth with potholes on dirt roads. Roads may be rough but not 4x4 roads.
We feel the lift kit would be a good idea for extra clearance.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
You may want to check out this thread related to this discussion.
Any Damage From Driving on Rough Roads?
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:50 PM   #10
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Just remember this , at any speed your trailer is doing exactly what the tow is doing . So if your teeth are chattering and your going sideways so is the RV.
Just slow down... what's the hurry ? Besides you don't want to wake the co-pilot . Most wash is up grade on a curve and can be very dangerous . The locals can do 80k on wash and not even spill their beer. Don't ask. Be safe .
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